MIAMI - Two innings from being swept by Hurricane Marlin, the Diamondbacks struck back in what Chad Tracy called “another one of those must-wins.”
Tracy got things started by thinking small, choking up for an 0-2 pitch that he drove into the right field stands for a home run to tie the game at 1 leading off the eighth. Troy Glaus hit his fourth home run in seven games off Antonio Alfonseca three batters later, and Brandon Webb and Jose Valverde limited Florida to four hits in salvaging the final game of a three-game series, 3-1, before 20,432 at Dolphins Stadium.
“I'd never faced him before, but I knew he had a good sinker. I was just trying to get something up,” said Glaus, who followed Luis Gonzalez's single with a ball so far up in the left field stands — 438 feet — that Marlins' left fielder Miguel Cabrera did not move after the ball was hit.
“The emotions can swing like that. They can swing on one at-bat. One pitch,” manager Bob Melvin said.
“You can go from feeling really awful to really good.”
The D-Backs (55-61) remained four games behind San Diego in the NL West, and Tracy said “you can kind of feel the momentum shifting in the Padres' direction.
“But it’s still not over, and every win from here on out is important.”
Into the eighth inning, the D-Backs had nine baserunners and no runs, having had one runner thrown out at the plate on a single and another erased on a double play while leaving the bases loaded once.
“You have to resist the urge to feel you are snake bit,” Melvin said. “The farther things go, the tougher it is.”
But after taking the pulse of the clubhouse by talking to a few veterans in the afternoon, Melvin said he sensed a resiliency despite losses in the first two games of the series.
It showed in the eighth inning, when the D-Backs' two homers gave them 10 in the last five games and 14 in the last seven.
The D-Backs have 134 homers, third in the National League, and are the only team in the NL with more than three players who have hit at least 16 home runs. They have five — Glaus (25), Tony Clark (19), Tracy (18), Luis Gonzalez (16) and Shawn Green (16).
“It seems like it's been a different guy all year,” said Tracy, who has four home runs in his last six starts.
“You just kind of wait and see who is going to step up that night.”
“If you are able to get contributions from top to bottom, you have to think that puts you in position to win more games,” Clark said. “That way, you are not relying on one horse.
“We have a number of guys who have been that horse at times. To get that kind of balance puts more pressure on an opposing team and an opposing pitching staff.”
Webb gave up four hits in eight innings. Juan Pierre's two-out RBI single in the fifth was the Marlins' last hit.
“Brandon, talk about right on time. We needed that big,” Melvin said.
“It's good to get this one and get out of here,” said Webb, who has won two of his last three starts while giving up only 10 hits, limiting opponents to a .135 batting average over that streak.
Valverde closed it out with his first save after officially taking over the closer's role last week.
“When I go out there, I feel good. I don't want to walk nobody. No hits. I just want three out,” he said.