Late comeback pulls D-backs even with Phillies in NLCS
Posted on: 21 Oct, 2023 at 05:16 AM
Credit: Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks won their lone World Series in 2001, close to the time many of their young standouts were born, including Friday's hero, Alek Thomas.
Thomas, one of four Diamondbacks standouts who are 23 years old, hit a two-run home run with one out in the eighth inning to tie Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
An RBI single later in the inning by Gabriel Moreno, another of the 23-year-olds, was the difference in the 6-5 victory that tied the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece.
The home team has won each of the first four games. Game 5 will be played on Saturday in Phoenix. The series shifts back to Philadelphia on Monday for Game 6.
"There's a lot of excitement in that clubhouse," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "We have a lot of 23-year-olds that go out and perform at a high level, and then when it's time for them to act like 23-year-olds, they do.
"And that's a lot of fun for me to watch. It's a great moment for this organization. I'm very proud of these guys."
Thomas hit a full-count pitch from Craig Kimbrel (0-2) with one out to tie the game at 5. The pinch-hit home run also scored Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who led off the inning with a double.
"That play is definitely something that you see in your dreams," said Thomas, a second-year major-leaguer who has three home runs in the postseason. "For it to come in real life and for it to happen to me is just awesome."
Ketel Marte singled with two outs, and Corbin Carroll was then hit by a pitch.
Kimbrel was replaced by Jose Alvarado, who allowed Moreno's single that scored Marte with the go-ahead run.
Carroll, a National League Rookie of the Year candidate, and Geraldo Perdomo, who generated a rally in the seventh inning, are also 23 years old.
Perdomo, the No. 9 batter, hit a one-out single off Gregory Soto in the seventh. Christian Walker later drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk from Orio Kerkering to force home Perdomo.
"They're scrappy," Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. "They're a good team. They can do a lot of different things. They can put pressure on you."
Arizona closer Paul Sewald struck out the first two batters in the ninth before Kyle Schwarber doubled. Sewald then fanned Trea Turner to end the game and record his fifth save of the postseason.
Schwarber set the all-time postseason record for home runs hit by a left-handed batter, belting the 19th of his career, a solo shot in the fourth inning. He had been tied at 18 with Reggie Jackson.
Schwarber's blast off reliever Kyle Nelson led off the inning and cut Arizona's lead to 2-1.
Philadelphia's Brandon Marsh hit an RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning off reliever Andrew Saalfrank to tie the game at 2.
Saalfrank was one of eight pitchers used by manager Torey Lovullo, who opted to employ a committee of relievers in the game. Kevin Ginkel (1-0) threw a scoreless eighth inning for the win.
Thomson also used eight pitchers.
--Javier Morales, Field Level Media