PHOENIX – Ketel Marte capped a three-hit afternoon with a walk-off single in the ninth, rookie Brandon Pfaadt pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 on Thursday narrowly beaten 2-1. 1 of the NL Championship Series.
When Arizona was on the verge of falling behind 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, it tied it in the seventh on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s RBI double.
Gurriel opened the ninth with a leadoff walk off Craig Kimbrel, stole second and moved to third on Pavin Smith’s infield single.
Gurriel was thrown to the plate by shortstop Trea Turner after a hard-hit grounder by Emmanuel Rivera as the Phillies fielded the infield. Geraldo Perdomo walked after falling behind 2-1 in the count, and Marte — one of the few Diamondbacks comfortable at the plate this series — hit a liner that fell in front of center fielder Johan Rojas and the D-backs cheered the field sent.
It was the third postseason walk-off win for the Diamondbacks. Marte is on a 12-game postseason winning streak.
Bryce Harper had given the Phillies the lead in the seventh when he scored on Ryan Thompson’s wild pitch.
Reigning NL champion Philadelphia had opened the postseason 7-1 and outscored the Diamondbacks 15-3 in two games at Citizens Bank Park, hitting six home runs.
After tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series deciding game, Pfaadt struck out nine and allowed two hits against the Phillies with a mid-90s fastball and a nifty sweeper that beat batters led to the hunt.
Pfaadt combined a threesome with Andrew Saalfrank, Thompson, Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald. Sewald, who got the win, left Harper at second in the ninth when Alec Bohm got a third strikeout.
Philadelphia Ranger Suarez allowed three hits and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings after Marte hit a leadoff double in the sixth inning. Suarez’s 0.94 ERA is the lowest in a pitcher’s first eight career postseason appearances.
Harper walked Saalfrank to start the seventh and Bohm followed with an infield single against Thompson. Bryson Stott grounded in a double play when Harper took third, and Thompson ripped an 0-1 slider that flew over the left-handed batter’s box and bounced to the backstop. The ball bounced to catcher Gabriel Montero, whose late throw sailed past the pitcher covering the plate as Harper slipped headfirst.
Arizona had gone scoreless for 17 innings through the seventh. Tommy Pham hit a single against Orion Kerkering and Gurriel doubled to the left corner of the field. Smith hit a single to put runners on the corners, but Jose Alvarado got Rivera into a double play and Perdomo grounded out.
The first two games of the NLCS were hot tickets in Philadelphia, with fans paying hundreds of dollars just to get in.
Game 3 at Chase Field was much more favorable. Less than an hour before the game, seats were available on SeatGeek for just $18 and on StubHub for just $14. Prices were so low that Phillies fans claimed they only bought tickets to keep would-be D-Backs fans away from the stadium.
The D-Backs announced a sellout crowd of 47,075 and seats appeared to be 99% full for a game that began at 2:07 p.m
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo significantly changed his lineup for Game 3 against the left-handed Suarez, putting Marte and Corbin Carroll at the top. He also hit Moreno at third base, dropped Pham to fifth and played the right-hander who hit Rivera at third base. Thomas – a left-hander – was not in the starting lineup. He was 0 for 5 in the first two games.
Game 4 takes place on Friday evening at 5:07 p.m. local time (8:07 p.m. EDT).