Hoover shuts down White Sox rally, Arizona wins 5-4 (May 23, 2017)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Yasmany Tomas (24) scores on an RBI double by teammate Brandon Drury as Chicago White Sox catcher Kevan Smith (36) waits for the throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) For the first time in nearly four years, the Arizona Diamondbacks are nine games over .500.

And every win, it seems, has a different player leading the way.

Reliever J.J. Hoover filled that role in Tuesday night’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The right-hander came on with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth inning and struck out Kevan Smith and Yolmer Sanchez to preserve the one-run lead.

”He had a great fastball tonight, a lot of life on it,” catcher Chris Herrmann said. ”We kind of just stuck with it. We threw a couple of sliders just to keep the hitters honest, and they really didn’t have a chance catching up with his fastball.”

Hoover, who traced his success to an alteration in his mechanics, said the early-season Arizona performance is based on ”our unity.”

”Everybody’s got everybody’s back,” he said. ”We have a singular focus and that’s what’s going on here.”

Jake Lamb and Herrmann homered in the Diamondbacks’ seventh win in eight games.

Patrick Corbin (4-4) settled down after a tough start to get the victory. The left-hander went six innings plus one batter, allowing three runs and scattering eight hits.

Chicago rookie Dylan Covey (0-4), still looking for his first big-league win after eight starts, left the game with one out in the third inning with left oblique soreness.

The same injury sidelined him most of last season.

”Where I am at now after doing some ice and stuff, I feel a lot better compared to last year,” Covey said. ”I could hardly move last year so I’m trying to stay optimistic and hopefully it will be a short recovery.”

Jose Abreu cut the lead to 5-4 with a leadoff home run of Jorge De La Rosa to start the eighth, his 100th career homer

”This is something real special for me,” he said, ”something that you really appreciate. I am thankful to all of the people that helped me reach this milestone. It is not something I did by myself.”

All nine of his home runs this season have come on the road.

Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 tries.

Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier also homered for Chicago.

The White Sox fell to 3-6 with one to go in a 10-game road trip.

Arizona jumped on Covey in a hurry.

Rey Fuentes led off with a single and, after one out and scored when Paul Goldschmidt lashed a triple to the right-center gap. Lamb, the reigning NL player of the week, hit a 1-1 slider into the right-field seats for his 12th home run of the season and it was 3-0.

Cabrera led off the second with a home run to make it 3-1 and Herrmann countered with an opposite-field shot into the Arizona bullpen and the Diamondbacks led 4-1.

Corbin retired the first two batters in the third but Leury Garcia singled and Frazier sent a 1-1 fastball over the swimming pool beyond right field to slice the lead to 4-3.

Yasmany Tomas singled and scored from first on Brandon Drury’s double to boost the lead to 5-3 in the fourth.

Tomas, not known for his defense, robbed Frazier with a diving grab in left field to end the fifth.

MILKMEN

Hoover, who owns a farm, was the winner over fellow Arizona relievers Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin in a cow-milking competition before the game.

Shamrock Farms provided the cow, named ”Pokie,” and sponsored the competition, which kicked off this season’s Grand Slam Milk Drive, part of a nationwide effort to deliver milk to needy families.

”If I want a cow milked, call Hoov,” Chafin said.

TRAINING ROOM

White Sox: INF Tyler Saladino (back pain) returned to the lineup at second base, his first start in a week. … OF Avisail Garcia was out of the lineup with the flu but did pinch hit in the eighth and was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Diamondbacks: CF A.J. Pollock (right groin strain) hit in the batting cage and worked out on an anti-gravity treadmill. Manager Torey Lovullo said it’s uncertain whether Pollock will travel with the team on its 11-game road trip that begins Thursday Milwaukee.

UP NEXT

Randall Delgado (1-0, 4.05 ERA), normally a long reliever, gets a spot start for Arizona in place of Taijuan Walker, on the DL with a finger blister. Jose Quintana (2-5, 3.92 ERA) starts for Chicago in the finale of its 11-game road trip.