PHOENIX — From early on Friday, it appeared the Diamondbacks were in for a long night, buried by starter Daniel Hudson’s six-run second inning. Little by little, though, the D-backs dug out, and third baseman Ryan Roberts gave the team a moment to build on.
Roberts’ three-run walk off home run in the ninth inning sent the D-backs to their third straight win, a 9-8 thriller over the Athletics, and the D-backs hope to use the dramatic comeback to go on a roll like they haven’t yet this season.
“Our time is coming,” Roberts said. “We might’ve started off slow, but that’s just how it’s supposed to be right now. It’s testing our team, and I think as we come together it’s going to be the same as last year — we come back and win.”
The win gave the D-backs their third three-game winning streak of the season and the opportunity to keep it going Saturday. Roberts’ shot to left-center field off A’s closer Brian Fuentes was simply the finishing touch on a comeback reminiscent of the 2011 D-backs.
“That feeling is just indescribable,” Roberts said. “It’s awesome, and I was just happy to be in the situation I was in at that point.”
With tough interleague series on the road against the Rangers and Angels next week, the D-backs would certainly benefit from a little momentum and confidence. On five occasions already this season, the D-backs have won three straight games only to drop the next.
The D-backs have experienced an eventful week that began with their worst offensive performance of the season and boiled over when managing partner Ken Kendrick criticized slumping right fielder Justin Upton and injured shortstop Stephen Drew during a local radio interview. Then Gibson benched Upton for two straight games, and the all-star made his unhappiness with it known.
Everything built up to a team meeting before Wednesday’s game. The D-backs have now won twice since the meeting — a small sample size — but Gibson said the conversations happening over the past few days played a part in the team’s resiliency Friday night.
“We just hung in there, and we used virtually our whole team tonight,” Gibson said. “That’s why we try to push them to think about each other. We’ve done a lot of talking lately, the last two days for sure. For them to have the result, it helps us imprint the right visualization.
“We just knew that we weren’t going to give in. We had no choice.”
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who contributed a solo homer to the comeback, said Friday’s win could be a turning point for the underachieving D-backs — but only if they make it matter.
“You never know,” Goldschmidt said. “It really just depends moving forward how you play. If you get hot and do some good things at the end of the year, maybe we will look back (at this game), but if not it’s just going to be another game.
“It’s a good win, but we’ve got to continue to build on it.”