Surging D-backs seek to keep rolling against A’s

MLB

The Arizona Diamondbacks are finding ways to win, and they are above .500 for the first time this season. They take a season high five-game winning streak into a Tuesday afternoon game against the Oakland Athletics in Phoenix.

David Peralta was the hero on Monday night, his bases-loaded single scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Arizona’s 4-3 win. The Diamondbacks are 18-8 in interleague play since the start of 2019.

“Anytime you end the game in a walk-off fashion, it feels really nice,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “There’s just some offensive catalysts that have been very consistent and somebody else will jump in and pick it up, and I think that’s what good teams do. They hand it off to the next guy.”

In earlier games this season, the Diamondbacks might not have recovered from a mistake the likes of which sure-handed shortstop Nick Ahmed made on Monday. He missed catching a soft popup to shallow left field that would have ended the top of the eighth inning, and the tying run scored on the play.

Then came a mound visit that showed Lovullo a different Arizona club.

“I heard some comments that were coming out of that mound visit that made me feel like this is a special group,” Lovullo said. “They picked up one another, and in this case they picked up Nicky, who’s usually picking everybody else up defensively.”

Outfielder Starling Marte has a seven-game hitting streak (.344, 11-for-32) and is batting .373 (19-for-51) in his past 12 games.

Right-hander Luke Weaver (0-3, 11.85 ERA) looks to get his first victory and keep the wins coming for Arizona on Tuesday. He has yet to pitch past the fourth inning in four starts this season.

The A’s saw a four-game winning streak come to an end on Monday, but they trailed 3-0 before tying the game in the eighth inning. Rallying late has been Oakland’s way of late.

“It seems like the early innings has given us the biggest problems and the later innings we’ve been really good,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think we’ve done pretty well up to this point with that recipe. Maybe it takes a time around to figure out a starter, but once the game gets going and we get into the flow of it, we seem to swing the bats better.”

Oakland’s late-inning magic has included 14 home runs hit in the seventh inning or later this season. Robbie Grossman went deep in the seventh on Monday. The A’s rank fifth in the majors with 1.82 runs scored per game in the seventh inning or later.

The AL West leaders turn to right-hander Frankie Montas (2-1, 1.57 ERA) on Tuesday. Montas was scratched before his scheduled start on Friday at San Francisco due to upper back tightness, but he has allowed two runs or fewer and five hits or fewer in each of his four starts.

Montas has a win in his only career appearance against Arizona. On May 27, 2018, he allowed a run on three hits in six innings, striking out seven.

–Field Level Media

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