PHOENIX—Sergio Alcántara used a translator for most of his postgame interview following his three-run homer in the 10th inning that lifted the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Los Angeles Dodgers 5–3 on Sept. 14.
The questions would come in English. Alcantara responded in Spanish.
That is, until he was asked if he was looking for a fastball during his clutch at-bat. No translator needed for that one.
“Yeah,” he said, grinning. “I was looking fastball.”
The slim infielder, listed at a mere 5-foot-9 and 151 pounds, got the pitch he wanted with two outs and hit his surprising long ball way over the right field fence off closer Craig Kimbrel.
The D-backs snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Dodgers and avoided a three-game sweep.
The Dodgers took a 3–2 lead earlier in the 10th when Austin Barnes scored on a wild pitch by Reyes Moronta (1–0).
Kimbrel (4–6) blew his fifth save of the season. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he was still confident Kimbrel would be the team’s closer as the team prepares for postseason play.
The right-hander had thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings before Wednesday’s blown save.
“No one feels worse than Craig right now,” Roberts said.
Los Angeles started several bench players one day after clinching the NL West title. Stars like Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Justin Turner were all out of the starting lineup.
“Everybody’s talking that it wasn’t their starters,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t care. We won a baseball game and it’ll push us to the next day. I want us to feel good about it.”
Dodgers right-hander Michael Grove threw a career-high five innings in a spot start after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
He gave up two hits—both solo homers—but was otherwise very good, walking one and striking out four.
The D-backs scored their first run in three games in the first inning when Daulton Varsho smoked a homer over the right field fence for a 1–0 lead. It was Varsho’s 25th homer of the season.
Arizona rookie Corbin Carroll added a solo shot in the second that pushed the advantage to 2–0.
The Dodgers tied it 2–all in the fourth on back-to-back homers from Will Smith and Trayce Thompson.
Smith’s was particularly impressive, flying 465 feet to center. It was his 22nd long ball of the year.
D-backs right-hander Zach Davies gave up two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Phoenix Suns backup guard Cameron Payne was in the crowd and joined in the postgame celebration following Alcantara’s homer.
Payne was wearing a jersey with D-backs outfielder Jake McCarthy’s name on the back. Under the jersey, he was wearing a T-shirt with he and McCarthy as teammates in the old school video game NBA Jam.
Out At Home
McCarthy nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth by trying to steal home.
McCarthy took off from third on a lazy throw from Barnes back to pitcher Evan Phillips, who then fired back to Barnes. The catcher was able to make the tag for the out.
Arizona challenged the ruling on the grounds that Barnes blocked the plate, but the out call was confirmed.
Dodgers: Roberts told reporters that David Price (left wrist inflammation), Yency Almonte (right elbow tightness), Brusdar Graterol (right elbow inflammation) and Tony Gonsolin (right forearm strain) all threw bullpen sessions at Chase Field.
Almonte threw live BP to 2B Gavin Lux (neck), who could return to the team soon.
Dodgers: Travel to face the San Francisco Giants for a three-game series starting Friday night. The Dodgers will throw RHP Dustin May (1–2, 4.29 ERA) against Giants RHP Logan Webb (13–8, 2.88).
Diamondbacks: Host the San Diego Padres for a four-game series starting Thursday night. The Padres will start LHP Sean Manaea (7–8, 5.23). Arizona RHP Drey Jameson will make his big league debut.
By David Brandt