PHOENIX (AP) — The Diamondbacks have made an art of the comeback, rallying for victories 30 times in their first 112 games.
No. 31 may have been the most impressive — and improbable — of the bunch.
Martin Prado hit a two-run single in the eighth after Arizona blew a three-run lead the inning before, helping the Diamondbacks rally for a 9-8 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night.
“That’s who we are, what we are,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
It was a wild game from the start, featuring 28 combined hits, 12 pitchers and a team-record six double plays by the D-backs.
Tampa Bay went up 3-0 in the first inning, but Arizona rallied against the Rays’ bullpen after starter Chris Archer left in the second, taking a 7-4 lead by the fifth.
Tampa Bay fought back, scoring four runs in the seventh on two-run hits by Evan Longoria and pinch hitter Sam Fuld.
J.J. Putz (3-1) gave the Diamondbacks a chance with a scoreless eighth inning, and they took advantage in the bottom half, loading the bases against Joel Peralta (1-5) and Fernando Rodney.
Prado followed with his two-run single to right and Brad Ziegler worked around two base runners in the ninth for his seventh save, completing Arizona’s 22nd win in its last at-bat.
“The one thing we can be consistent with is go all the way through, 27 outs,” said Prado, who had four RBIs and four of the D-backs’ 12 hits. “This team, every single guy is ready to go up there.”
The Rays had 16 hits, fought back after Archer went out with forearm stiffness and were up 8-7 after their four-run seventh.
They just couldn’t match the Diamondbacks hit for hit, losing their first series since June 18-19 in Boston and consecutive road games for the first time since June 21-22 in New York against the Yankees.
“It was very difficult because we played hard,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We definitely played hard tonight and well enough to win it. Our bullpen was just not normal tonight. Beyond all the double plays, etc., our bullpen is usually more lockdown than that.”
The Rays got off to a good start, scoring three runs in the first inning off Randall Delgado, capped by Yunel Escobar’s two-run double.
Archer, the AL’s pitcher of the month in July, gave up a run on Paul Goldschmidt’s RBI single in the first inning and got two outs in the second before leaving after throwing three pitches to Didi Gregorius. Archer was taken out for precautionary reasons and said he didn’t think it was anything serious.
“I am glad they are cautious with me, thinking about the future, and hopefully it just dissolves and my next start I am out there at normal game speed,” Archer said.
The game’s speed picked up from there.
Arizona took advantage of Tampa Bay’s bullpen, scoring three runs in both the third and fifth innings.
Prado hit a two-run homer off Alex Torres in the third, and Aaron Hill followed with an RBI double. In the fifth, Chavez had a run-scoring single, Hill another run-scoring double and Wil Nieves a sacrifice fly that made it 7-4.
The Rays took their turn against the Diamondbacks bullpen once Delgado was gone, loading the bases against Josh Collmenter in the seventh inning. Longoria followed with a two-run double off Will Harris, and Fuld, who replaced Wil Myers (asthma symptoms), put the Rays up 8-7 with a two-run flare single to left off Joe Thatcher.
Problem was, the Diamondbacks still had outs left.
The D-backs rallied in the eighth to set up Prado’s hit, and Ziegler induced a game-ending double play after the Rays put two on with one out in the ninth, finishing off the two-game sweep.
“This is one of those games that tells you that you can go out there and finish strong,” Prado said. “That’s what we’re looking for.”
NOTES: Gregorius made a spectacular diving stop at shortstop on a grounder by Escobar in the fourth inning, throwing from his knees to start a double play. … Myers singled in the first inning and has reached base in 21 straight games, the second-longest streak by a Tampa Bay rookie behind Rocco Baldelli’s 24 games in 2003. … The Diamondbacks have Thursday off before left-hander Patrick Corbin goes for his 14th win of the season in the opener of a three-game series against the Mets on Friday.