Koch shuts down Marlins, D-backs win 6-1 to complete sweep
PHOENIX (AP) — A homestand against the teams with the two worst records in the National League did wonders for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Matt Koch allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings and the Diamondbacks completed a three-game sweep, beating Miami 6-1 Sunday and extending the Marlins' losing streak to a season-long six games.
David Peralta homered for the third consecutive game, a solo shot in the eighth. He also made a standout sliding grab on the left field foul line in the seventh. Arizona outscored the Marlins 21-4 in the series, nursing a 1-0 lead through six innings before blowing the game open.
After losing 15 of its 17 previous games, Arizona completed a 5-1 homestand against Cincinnati and Miami to move back into first place in the NL West, 1 1-2 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies.
"It was a rough few weeks for us," Daniel Descalso said. "Nobody could figure out why that was all going on. But it was nice to get back here and swing the bats well. I think that was encouraging for us."
Koch (4-3), brought up from Triple-A Reno early in the season when Taijuan Walker underwent Tommy John surgery, struck out six with no walks, throwing just 84 pitches.
"Everything was pretty sharp today," he said. "The fastball command was good. The cutter was probably the best it's been all year."
Dan Straily (2-2) allowed a run on just two hits, but walked five in 4 1-3 innings. Three of the walks came in the fifth inning, when Arizona scored its first run.
"It is very frustrating to lose the command like that," Straily said. "I know it happens but at this level you should be able to adjust even after one hitter and correct it."
Descalso drove in two runs, one with a groundout and another with a deep flyball that center fielder Lewis Brinson misplayed for an error in the seventh. Two runs scored on the play and Descalso was credited for the RBI for what should have been a sacrifice fly.
Ketel Marte drove in a run in the eighth with his sixth triple of the season. He also doubled, in his first at bat as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
"He drove the ball through the diamond about waist-high that got all the way to the wall," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said, describing the triple. "That's hard to do. You're doing a lot right when you're hitting the ball that hard."
The Marlins avoided the shutout with Justin Bour's RBI double off Jake Barrett in the ninth.
Brinson also misplayed a flyball by Peralta earlier in the game. He knew he should have caught both fly balls.
"Anything that goes up that I can get under I expect to catch," he said. "I am not happy about those. Those are routine plays for me."
On Peralta's hit, Brinson said, "I just jumped and didn't need to and it went just over my glove," he said, "and Descalso's I thought I was at the wall when I wasn't. You just got to know your ballpark."
Marlins: Placed RHP Nick Wittgren on the 10-day disabled list with a right middle finger contusion.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) will make his second rehab start Monday night, this time for Double-A Jackson.
Some tough decisions lie ahead for the Diamondbacks with injured starters Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray on the mend. The two pitchers who have replaced them, Koch and Clay Buchholz, have done well.
"We love those type of conversations," Lovullo said. "The players make the decisions harder for us and we want them to."
Marlins: head to St. Louis to finish up a 10-game road trip with three against the Cardinals. RH Jose Arena (0-7, 4.41 ERA) starts for Miami in Tuesday night's series opener.
Diamondbacks: Arizona opens a three-game series at San Francisco Monday night with RH Zack Godley (4-3, 4.38) on the mound for the Diamondbacks and LH Derek Holland (3-6, 4.94) starting for the Giants.