Zach Walters Send Indians to Walk-Off 3-2 Victory
On Wednesday afternoon, the Indians and Diamondbacks played the first of two games in their impromptu doubleheader. After Tuesday night’s rain out/slip and slide adventure, both teams were looking to come back to the ballpark fresh and focused. Hopefully the got their rest, because Wednesday’s matinée proved to be a mini-marathon.
Helping to ease the burden of playing a minimum 18 innings in one day, Trevor Bauer did his part as game one starter. Bauer pitched eight solid innings and allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. Had he received even the slightest bit of run support, he may have even walked away with the victory. It wasn’t to be as he took to the bench at the start of the ninth inning.
In relief of Bauer, Cody Allen pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
The Diamondbacks scored their first run of the game in the top half of the sixth inning. Jordan Pacheco grounded into a double play that allowed Jake Lamb to score. Lamb had walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a single by Xavier Paul.
However, the Indians came back the following half-inning to take the lead. Zach Walters singled to start the inning. It was his first hit as a member of the Indians. He advanced all the way to third following a single by Jason Kipnis and throwing error by Arizona right fielder David Peralta. Kipnis advanced to second as well on the play. Two batters later, Michael Brantley singled to right under the glove of a sliding Aaron Hill. Both runners came around to score and the Indians went up 2-1.
Bauer couldn’t make the lead hold up, unfortunately. The D-Backs came back to tie things up in the top of the seventh. A Mark Trumbo singles and Miguel Montero double set the stage for Aaron Hill. Hill grounded out, pushing Trumbo home on the fielder’s choice. The game would remain tied at two, despite chances to score by the Indians. Chris Dickerson getting picked off second on a throw down by Montero all but killed their best opportunity.
Things would get better, though, for the Indians. Much better indeed.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the newly acquired Zach Walters played hero for the first time as an Indian. Down in the count a ball and two strikes, Walters sent the fourth pitch of his at bat against Randall Delgado soaring into the right field bullpen. The walk-off solo home run, was Walters’ first since coming over from the Nationals in a trade for Asdrubal Cabrera and gave the Indians a much-needed 3-2 victory.
Welcome to Cleveland, Mr. Walters.
Also worth noting, Tyler Holt got the first hit of his big league career in the bottom of the third on a single to center. Congratulations, Tyler. Here’s to many more.