Published November 20, 2014
Good thing for the Diamondbacks that Melvin Mora had a sore foot.
Ryan Roberts was a late addition to the starting lineup because of Mora's injury and hit two of Arizona's four homers off Sam LeCure, leading the Diamondbacks to a 5-4 victory over the slumping Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
"It was one of those days where everything you hit seems to go," Roberts said. "I don't know how to explain it. It's a good thing I got in there tonight."
Roberts hit a solo drive and a two-run homer for his second career multihomer game. Kelly Johnson and Chris Young also connected against LeCure (0-1), helping the Diamondbacks pile up a season high in homers.
Armando Galarraga went six innings, matching the best start of his career at 3-0. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four chances, fanning Chris Heisey with a runner on second to end it. Putz opened the inning by hitting Jonny Gomes, putting himself in trouble.
"That's the one thing you never want to do, walk or hit a guy in a one-run game in the ninth inning," Putz said. "We were fortunate to get out of this one. Today was definitely a nerve-racking game for me."
The last week hasn't been so good for the Reds, who have dropped five of six. The defending NL Central champions are only one game over .500 (9-8) for the first time since they beat Milwaukee on opening day.
For the third game in a row, a Reds starter gave up at least five runs. LeCure lasted only 5 1-3 innings and gave up nine hits, including the career-high four homers. It was the most homers allowed by the Reds in a game this season.
A sore foot unexpectedly played a role.
Mora jammed his left foot while running the bases Sunday during a 6-5, 12-inning win over San Francisco. He tested it before Tuesday's game and felt some soreness, so manager Kirk Gibson made the lineup change as a precaution.
Turned out to be a fortunate break.
Roberts hit a solo homer in the first and a two-run shot in the fifth, when Arizona squandered a chance to pull away. The Diamondbacks had a single, a double, a triple and Roberts' homer in the inning, but managed only two runs.
Galarraga had a lot to do with it.
Juan Miranda opened the fifth with a double and Galarraga tried to sacrifice, but his bunt went right to LeCure, who was able to get the out at third. When Johnson followed with a single, Galarraga rounded second base too far and was caught in a rundown.
Roberts homered into the first row of seats in left field for a 4-3 lead. Justin Upton followed with a fly that deflected off the top of the wall in right field and came back, leaving him with a triple. The umpires reviewed the play and confirmed the call.
"I was trying to keep it down because if they got it up in the air, you just weren't sure," said LeCure, who hadn't given up a homer this season. "Every ball hit in the air I was scared about. Some of the balls they hit were down."
Galarraga did better on the mound than on the bases, giving up three runs, including Drew Stubbs' solo homer. Gibson wasn't happy with where he threw his pitches early and considered replacing him.
"The first three innings, he wasn't executing what we wanted him to do and we almost took him out," Gibson said. "He made the adjustment and threw the ball where he was supposed to throw it."
Galarraga got a better feel for his slider after the third inning.
"I got behind the ball more and the ball was moving," Galarraga said. "I got better results."
Brandon Phillips singled home a run off David Hernandez in the eighth.
NOTES: Roberts' other multihomer game was Aug. 4, 2009, at Pittsburgh. ... Galarraga also won his first three decisions in 2009. ... Umpires took 2 minutes, 39 seconds to review Upton's triple in the fifth and uphold the call. Upton contended the ball had cleared the wall and bounced back. ... Putz is the first Diamondbacks pitcher to convert his first four save chances of the season. Mike Morgan converted three in a row in 2000. ... Reds manager Dusty Baker will let RHP Mike Leake start the final game of the series on Thursday as planned. Leake was arrested on a shoplifting charge Monday. ... Phillips was back in the Reds' starting lineup after missing four games with a sore groin.