|Arizona (90-66) «||3||0||5||0||0||0||0||0||x||8||11||0|
PHOENIX -- Becoming NL West champions has been a notion off in the distance for the Arizona Diamondbacks for weeks, something plausible, yet still just out of reach.
Now that it's closer to becoming a reality, the Diamondbacks are ready to snatch it up.
Aggressive on the basepaths and with their bats, the Diamondbacks jumped on the Pittsburgh Pirates early in an 8-5 win on Wednesday that cut their magic number for clinching the division to two.
"You don't want to beat around the bush too much, just go ahead and get it done," said Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley, the biggest beneficiary of Arizona's take-it-now approach.
|More on Pirates at D-Backs|
A day after stranding 11 runners in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Diamondbacks put pressure on the Pirates from the start, setting a team record with four stolen bases while scoring three runs off Ross Ohlendorf (1-3) in the first inning.
That was more than enough run support for Miley (4-2) and J.J. Putz closed it out with a flourish, striking out the side in the ninth for his 22nd straight save and 43rd overall.
Now, with 90 wins after a pair of 90-loss seasons, Arizona is on the brink of closing out the Giants, who played the Dodgers later Wednesday. The Diamondbacks get a day off on Thursday before opening a three-game series at home against San Francisco on Friday.
"We can't celebrate until happens," said Chris Young, who had two hits and drove in a run in a five-run third inning. "I'm sure a few guys will be watching the Giants tonight and tomorrow, but if we can come into the Giants' series ready and playing good baseball, we should be able to do this."
Pittsburgh didn't go quietly despite the big early hole.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle used 15 different position players and six pitchers, and his team did manage to chip away at the lead in the later innings. But Pittsburgh, like it has most of the second half of the season, came up just short, losing for the 10th time in 14 games.
"The attitude and the effort has been there all year," Hurdle said. "They are playing the game to win, whether it is September 21st all April 21st that hasn't changed. The execution has been problematic the last 50 games."
Arizona lost to Pittsburgh 5-3 Tuesday night, thanks to ineffective hitting with runners on and several defensive gems by the Pirates, but still moved closer to its first division title since 2007 with San Francisco's loss to the Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks went right at the Pirates in the series finale, pulling off two double steals in the opening inning. Justin Upton had a sacrifice fly to drive in one run and Montero added two more with his 18th homer to right.
Arizona piled it on the third, chasing Ohlendorf after three straight singles -- Young's drove a run -- and a walk. Roberts followed with a two-run double to the corner in left off Jared Hughes, who then issued a four-pitch walk to Miley, a .083 hitter. Hill made it 8-1 with a two-run single to left after fighting off several good pitches.
Ohlendorf allowed seven runs on seven hits in two-plus innings.
"I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand real good and I made good pitches, and they took good swings," said Ohlendorf said. "I had a really good approach and I didn't make enough good pitches."
Miley wasn't particularly sharp, but plenty good enough with the support his teammates provided.
The left-hander worked through plenty of traffic, giving up Ludwick's solo homer in the second inning and an RBI single to Lee in the fourth. Miley was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning after allowing two runs on five hits.
The Diamondbacks had some nice defensive plays to help the effort, including Hill's shovel throw from second to get Alex Presley in the third inning and first baseman Lyle Overbay's over-the-rail grab on Matt Pagnozzi's foul pop in the sixth.
"We've just got to keep pushing, keep winning ball games and seal the deal," Miley said.
Another game or two like this and they will.
|Miguel Montero has a monster day, going 3 for 4 with a homer for the Diamondbacks. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Alex Presley, LF||5||0||1||0||0||2||1||.295|
|Pedro Ciriaco, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.323|
|Daniel McCutchen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Garrett Jones, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.243|
|Evan Meek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Resop, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Xavier Paul, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.254|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.262|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||1||3||2||0||0||1||.268|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.270|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||3||.237|
|Brandon Wood, 3B-SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.218|
|c- Pedro Alvarez, PH-3B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.194|
|Matt Pagnozzi, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.269|
|d- Jason Jaramillo, PH-C||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.321|
|Ross Ohlendorf, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Jared Hughes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Daniel Moskos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|e- Josh Harrison, PH-3B||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.265|
|f- Ryan Doumit, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.300|
|Chase D'Arnaud, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|a-grounded out for D. McCutchen in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Resop in the 9th|
|c-singled for Wood in the 8th|
|d-doubled for Pagnozzi in the 8th|
|e-flied out for Moskos in the 5th|
|f-grounded out for Harrison in the 8th|
|2B - Andrew McCutchen (33, Miley), Brandon Wood (10, Miley), Jason Jaramillo (1, Ziegler), Josh Harrison (12, Shaw)|
|HR - Derrek Lee (19, Owings), Ryan Ludwick (13, Miley)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee 2 (59), Ryan Ludwick (73), Jason Jaramillo (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Jaramillo (3)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Walker-Ciriaco-Lee|
|Ross Ohlendorf (L,1-3)||2||7||7||7||2||1||1||8.29|
|HBP - Hill (by Ross Ohlendorf)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 65-34, Jared Hughes 25-14, Daniel Moskos 13-8, Daniel McCutchen 35-21, Evan Meek 11-6, Chris Resop 5-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 3-1, Jared Hughes 1-1, Daniel Moskos 1-1, Daniel McCutchen 3-2, Evan Meek 1-1, Chris Resop 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 15, Jared Hughes 6, Daniel Moskos 3, Daniel McCutchen 7, Evan Meek 3, Chris Resop 3|
|Willie Bloomquist, SS||5||1||1||0||0||2||4||.268|
|J.J. Putz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||3||1||2||2||0||0||0||.243|
|Justin Upton, RF||3||1||1||1||0||0||2||.292|
|Miguel Montero, C||4||2||3||2||0||0||0||.285|
|Chris Young, CF||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.235|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||0||1||.229|
|Ryan Roberts, 3B||4||1||1||2||0||1||0||.249|
|Gerardo Parra, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||4||.295|
|Wade Miley, P||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.077|
|a- Sean Burroughs, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Micah Owings, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|Bryan Shaw, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Ziegler, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Paterson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Geoff Blum, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.195|
|John McDonald, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
|a-grounded out for Miley in the 5th|
|b-flied out for Paterson in the 8th|
|2B - Chris Young (37, Ohlendorf), Ryan Roberts (24, Hughes)|
|HR - Miguel Montero (18, Ohlendorf)|
|SF - Justin Upton (4)|
|RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (59), Justin Upton (88), Miguel Montero 2 (84), Chris Young (70), Ryan Roberts 2 (58)|
|2-OUT RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (18)|
|SB - Willie Bloomquist (19, 3rd base off Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi), Aaron Hill (19, 2nd base off Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi), Chris Young (21, 3rd base off Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi), Lyle Overbay (2, 2nd base off Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi), Gerardo Parra (14, 2nd base off D. McCutchen/Pagnozzi)|
|CS - Aaron Hill (7, 2nd base by Ohlendorf/Pagnozzi)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Wade Miley (W,4-2)||5||5||2||2||1||3||1||4.15|
|Joe Paterson (H,10)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.97|
|J.J. Putz (S,43)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.29|
|WP - Bryan Shaw (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade Miley 89-55, Micah Owings 12-9, Bryan Shaw 16-13, Brad Ziegler 16-11, Joe Paterson 3-3, J.J. Putz 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Miley 9-3, Bryan Shaw 2-0, Brad Ziegler 1-0, Joe Paterson 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Wade Miley 21, Micah Owings 5, Bryan Shaw 4, Brad Ziegler 5, Joe Paterson 1, J.J. Putz 3|
|Attendance - 25296|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Larry Vanover|