Lucroy’ slam gets best of Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — Revenge was a fleeting thing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Milwaukee Brewers got their payback the very next pitch.
Jonathan Lucroy homered twice, including a grand slam in an eventful seventh inning, and the Brewers made it two in a row over Arizona by beating the Diamondbacks 7-5 on Tuesday night.
Lucroy’s slam to center came on Brad Ziegler’s first delivery after Arizona reliever Evan Marshall was ejected for hitting Ryan Braun with a pitch.
"They won the tough-guy points, but I don’t know what the stats are for those," Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse said. "We won the game because of that."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke called Lucroy’s at-bat "probably the best I’ve ever seen."
"After they smoke our guy, they bring in their closer, the first pitch he sees he hits a grand slam. There’s no way an at-bat can get bigger than that," he said.
It was the first grand slam and only the 16th home run allowed by Ziegler, who is not usually the Arizona closer.
The Brewers couldn’t understand why the Diamondbacks picked that moment to hit Braun.
"We know the way the game works," Braun said. "I was surprised I got hit in that situation, those circumstances — go-ahead run at second base, tying run at third."
Lucroy insisted the Diamondbacks drilling Braun did not provide added motivation.
"I’m not about revenge or payback," the catcher said. "I’m just about winning the game. It worked out for us."
Marshall (2-2) took the loss, facing three batters without getting an out after relieving starter Mike Bolsinger, who was called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.
Lucroy had a solo homer in the sixth. Aramis Ramirez also hit a solo shot for the Brewers.
Lohse (8-2), who had hit three batters all season, plunked two in his six innings. He grazed Didi Gregorius to start the game, then hit Chris Owings just below the back of his head to start the sixth.
Lohse also threw one over Bolsinger’s head, and the Brewers hit a batter in Monday night’s win as well.
All that apparently led to Marshall retaliating.
"I am not going to comment on that," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "You have been around the game long enough."
With a slight smile on his face, Marshall said he didn’t hit Braun on purpose.
Lohse allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits. The Brewers trailed 4-2 when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in a five-run seventh.
Arizona’s Roger Kieschnick hit his first career homer, off Francisco Rodriguez to start the ninth. The ball landed in the swimming pool beyond the right-field fence.
Singles by pinch-hitter Cody Ross and Gerardo Parra put runners at first and second with one out, but Rodriguez struck out Paul Goldschmidt. Miguel Montero bounced out to first to end it, and Rodriguez earned his major league-leading 22nd save.
With the Brewers trailing 4-2, Jean Segura led off the seventh with his second triple of the night, off the wall in center, and scored on Elian Herrera’s sacrifice fly.
That ended the night for Bolsinger, who had a 4-2 lead when he left. He wound up allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Marshall came in and gave up a pinch-hit single to Lyle Overbay, then a double by Scooter Gennett to put runners on second and third. That brought up Braun.
Marshall’s first pitch went behind the batter, leading plate umpire Ted Barrett to walk to the mound for a nose-to-nose conversation with the Arizona pitcher. The very next pitch, Marshall plunked Braun just above the left hip to load the bases.
"That’s ridiculous," Lucroy said. "It’s overreacting."
Barrett immediately tossed Marshall, who got high-fives from his teammates in the Diamondbacks’ dugout. But with the bases loaded, Lucroy homered to left-center, above the 413-foot sign, and Milwaukee led 7-4.
Gibson has been outspoken since Braun’s 65-game suspension last year for violating baseball’s drug agreement during the 2011 season, which included the slugger’s big series when the Brewers edged the Diamondbacks in the NL playoffs.
NOTES: It was the second ejection for the Diamondbacks in two nights. Manager Kirk Gibson was tossed in the ninth inning Monday. … A victory would have lifted Arizona out of last place in the NL West. … To make room for Bolsinger, the Diamondbacks optioned reliever Will Harris to Triple-A Reno. … Brewers CF Carlos Gomez sat out his second consecutive game with a sore hamstring. … In the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night, the Brewers send Matt Garza (4-4, 4.17 ERA) to the mound against Arizona’s Wade Miley (3-6, 4.71).