Arizona Diamondbacks Win on Flukey In-the-Parker After Strong Start From Ian Kennedy
That all changed with one crack of the bat, and that was all the Snakes needed.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, with Mark Reynolds on second, D-Backs left fielder Gerardo Parra connected on a fly ball to the right-center field gap.
Braves center fielder Nate McLouth came sprinting over. So did right fielder Jason Heyward. The ball came down, they collided and the ball trickled to the wall.
Parra jumped on his horse and sped around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, giving the D-Backs a 2-1 lead.
Closer Chad Qualls finished off the ninth (again!) and the Snakes escaped with a win despite stranding 11 runners on base.
While Parra's stroke of luck was the most exciting play of the game (and pretty much the only exciting play), D-Backs starter Ian Kennedy pitched brilliantly while getting a no-decision.
Kennedy pitched seven shutout innings while allowing just three hits. He did walk five, which was a concern, but struck out six Braves, many of them coming in key situations.
The D-Backs have now taken two of three from Atlanta, who are in first place in the N.L. East and 12 games above .500. Proceed with cautious optimism though, as the Snakes are still 12 games below even.
Stiil, a win in the series finale (which starts at 12:40 p.m. today) could get the D-Backs some confidence and a glimmer of hope as this dreadful season trudges along.
Dontrelle Willis gets the start as he looks to build off his impressive debut outing for the D-Backs.
TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.