Diamondbacks erase early deficit again and beat Brewers 5-2 to sweep NL Wild Card Series
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Zac Gallen settled down after a shaky start and Arizona’s bullpen stepped up at the very end, helping the Diamondbacks sweep their NL Wild Card Series against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-2 victory in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Just two years after suffering through a 110-loss season, Arizona moved into the franchise’s first NL Division Series since 2017. The Diamondbacks will take on the NL West champion Dodgers in the opener of their best-of-five series on Saturday in Los Angeles.
The NL Central champion Brewers have dropped nine of their last 10 playoff games, a stretch that started with their Game 7 home loss to the Dodgers in the 2018 NL Championship Series.
Attention in Milwaukee now turns to the future of Craig Counsell, who has managed the Brewers since 2015 and has guided them to five playoff appearances over the last six seasons. Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio has said the team wants Counsell back, but he hasn’t indicated whether he wants to return.
Ketel Marte put Arizona ahead for good with a two-run single during a four-run rally in the sixth inning as Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta faded after a strong start. Gallen allowed two runs in the first, and then sailed through the rest of his six innings.
The Brewers tried to put together a late rally.
Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but 26-year-old rookie Andrew Saalfrank preserved Arizona’s 5-2 lead with some stellar relief work.
When Sal Frelick hit a comebacker to the mound, Saalfrank threw Christian Yelich out at the plate. Willy Adames then hit a shot up the middle, but Marte was positioned perfectly behind second base and stepped on the bag for the final out.
The Brewers had runners on second and third after Yelich’s two-out double in the ninth, but Paul Sewald struck out William Contreras to end the series.
Milwaukee’s night began better than it ended.
Brandon Woodruff had been regarded as the Brewers’ likely Game 2 starter until a shoulder injury shut him down for this series. Corbin Burnes struggled as the Brewers blew a 3-0 lead in a 6-3 Game 1 loss, so Milwaukee needed Peralta to step up.
He did just that for the first part of the game.
Peralta held Arizona hitless for 4 2/3 innings as the Brewers built a 2-0 lead on Sal Frelick’s sacrifice fly and Adames’ RBI single. The Diamondbacks got their first hit when Alek Thomas homered on a 2-0 changeup in the fifth.
Everything fell apart for the Brewers in the sixth as Peralta and Abner Uribe faltered on the mound.
Geraldo Perdomo drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Corbin Carroll’s double, a broken-bat shot that got past first baseman Carlos Santana and went down the right-field line. Marte singled home both runners and advanced to second on the throw to the plate.
Tommy Pham then greeted Uribe with a single to right that put runners on the corners. One out later, José Herrera walked to load the bases. Uribe threw a wild pitch that brought home Pham and then allowed an RBI single to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. before departing with the Diamondbacks ahead 5-2.
Diamondbacks C Gabriel Moreno left with a head injury after getting hit by a backswing. When Milwaukee’s Brice Turang struck out swinging to lead off the second inning, his bat his Moreno’s helmet. After a delay of several minutes, Moreno remained in the game for the rest of that inning. Herrera took over for him in the third.
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AP – 2023-10-05T02:33:28.263Z
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