The Reds almost made it 3-for-3 – three games against Arizona, three comeback wins.
This time, however, the lead was too big.
Jay Bruce’s three-run ninth-inning home run pulled the Reds to within 9-8, but Cincinnati couldn’t build on the momentum and had to settle for winning two games in the three-game series.
Bruce followed walks issued by Tyler Clippard to Zack Cozart and Joey Votto with his 21st home run, but Clippard regrouped to get the final three outs, helping the Diamondbacks salvage the final game of the three-game series.
“It’s been good this home stand,” manager Bryan Price said. “There was that big rally against their closer. Cozart getting on base with the walk and on we go. Joey given us the great at bat and Jay hitting the home run. It was a situation where we were a homer away from walking them off. That says a lot. It was a hot day. We were down early.”
Bruce’s homer was Cincinnati’s only extra-base hit, not enough to offset Arizona’s four home runs. Paul Goldschmidt gave Arizona the lead for good with his fifth-inning solo home run, Yasmany Tomas launched two first-pitch solo shots and Welington Castillo added a three-run homer and the Diamondbacks snapped a four-game losing streak while piling up their most runs in a game since a 10-9 win at Colorado on June 24. Arizona avoided being swept in Cincinnati for the first time since 2007.
The home run also was somewhat melancholy, since it might be the last blasted by in Cincinnati as a Red by Bruce, the subject of trade rumors for more than a year.
“It could have been my last home run at Great American Ball Park,” he said. “Also it might not have been. We’ll see. It was a good note. The organization has told me nothing. I come in here the same time every day. The only thing on my mind is playing baseball. It’s business as usual. I mentioned the other day it has crept in, but I know the state of the union, so to speak. I can’t control a thing. I just come in to play baseball and try to win games.
“I made it clear from the beginning. My goal was to finish my career with the Reds. That hasn’t changed.”
Every Cincinnati starter except pitcher Brandon Finnegan collected at least one hit against Arizona starter Zack Godley, helping the Reds come from behind twice before the Diamondbacks pulled away. Cincinnati still finished 6-3 on a home stand that included two last-place teams, Arizona and Atlanta, and Milwaukee, just ahead of the last-place Reds in the National League Central Division.
Finnegan (5-8) failed for the fourth consecutive start to get past five innings. He allowed seven hits and six runs with two walk and three strikeouts.
“There were a lot of misses,” Price said. “He tried to go in to righties. The ball was running back over the plate. It wasn’t his best command day.”
Finnegan allowed three home runs to move into a tie with Washington right-hander Max Scherzer for the National League lead in home runs allowed with 22.