Three defensive gems help preserve D-backs win
PHOENIX -- The league-best defense the Diamondbacks played last season has deserted them at times this season, but it was on full display Monday night. And it more than once saves what ended up as a 3-2 victory over the rival Dodgers.
Just hours after manager Chip Hale mentioned the strides slugger Peter O'Brien made in the outfield while in Triple-A, O'Brien robbed the Dodgers' Justin Turner of at least a double and possibly a home run with a leaping catch up against the left-field wall.
On most nights it would have topped the team's web gems. But it ended up just the appetizer for two more delightful courses.
With the D-backs clinging to a one-run lead in the sixth, the Dodgers had a runner on second base with two outs when Scott Van Slyke hit a soft fly ball to shallow center field. Second baseman Jean Segura, who playing on the shortstop side of the bag in a defensive shift, raced into center and made an over-the-shoulder catch, just closing his glove before the ball squirted out the top.
"Barely got it," Segura said. "If I drop it, it's going to be a different game and who knows maybe we're still playing out there."
Hale said he thought for sure the ball was going to end up a hit, until Segura "came out of nowhere." Pitcher Zack Greinke said it was one of the best play made in a game he's pitched.
Michael Bourn, too, praised Segura for the lead-saving play. Bourn watched it unfold from the home dugout on the third base side. Two innings later he was in center as part of a defensive switch.
In the eighth and with the D-backs still holding a one-run lead, the Dodgers loaded the bases against Daniel Hudson before Brad Ziegler struck out Enrique Hernandez. Howie Kendrick then lined a two-strike pitch into center. Bourn made a diving catch to end the inning and set off a mini celebration in the D-backs dugout.
It was the type of play the D-backs haven't made many of this season as so many of their outfields, often playing out of position, have had to play deeper than ideal.
"We've had some plays this year that we haven't made in key situations that hurt us," Hale said. "We're starting to make them now."
All told, the three plays saved the D-backs at least four runs. Bourn was asked which play was the best.
After a brief pause, he smiled and said, "The bases were loaded when I did it."