Arizona remains alive
PHOENIX - Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam and tied a franchise postseason record with five RBIs, fellow Arizona rookie Josh Collmenter befuddled Milwaukee batters again, and the Diamondbacks stayed alive in the National League Division Series with a 8-1 rout of the Brewers last night.
Goldschmidt, who has made big hits a habit since he was called up from Double A Mobile Aug. 1, gave Arizona a 7-1 lead in the fifth with a two-out, opposite-field homer to right off Shaun Marcum after Miguel Montero had been intentionally walked. Montero drove in two runs with a single and double.
With an unorthodox overhand style he says comes from throwing tomahawks as a kid in the Michigan woods, Collmenter limited the Brewers to a run and two hits in seven innings. Corey Hart’s leadoff homer in the third was the only run Milwaukee has scored against the 25-year-old in 21 innings this season.
David Hernandez and closer J.J. Putz each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the three-hitter that quieted, at least for one night, the big bats of the Brewers.
Milwaukee leads the best-of-five series, 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in Phoenix.
Arizona had a major league-best 48 come-from-behind victories in the regular season but the Diamondbacks were on top from the start as they tried to avoid being swept.
Goldschmidt, whose first career triple drove in the deciding two runs in Arizona’s NL West-clinching victory over San Francisco, had an RBI single in a two-run first as the Diamondbacks took their first lead in the series.
Montero, 0 for 8 in the first two games, doubled off the wall in center to drive in a run in the first, then added an RBI single in the third. Willie Bloomquist had three singles. He and Montero each scored three times.
Montero’s success early in the game led to the decision to intentionally walk him ahead of Goldschmidt in the fifth. Milwaukee pitching coach Rick Kranitz went to the mound ahead of time to nail down a strategy that could not have backfired more. With the count 1-2, Goldschmidt got just enough of Marcum’s pitch, the ball barely clearing the right-field fence as the capacity crowd of 48,312 cheered.
Collmenter (10-10 with a 3.38 ERA in the regular season) was chosen by manager Kirk Gibson over veteran lefty Joe Saunders to start, and he gave the Brewers little chance to get into their “Beast Mode.’’ The pitcher from Homer, Mich., did not allow a hit after Hart’s home run, retiring 15 of his last 16 batters. The only Milwaukee batter to reach in that span was Nyjer Morgan, who drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. Collmenter struck out six.