MILWAUKEE - Before Thursday's game at Miller Park, manager Bob Brenly urged the Diamondbacks to find ways to win instead of ways to lose.
After trying almost every way imaginable to lose, they did win. Danny Bautista’s fifth RBI of the day broke a 15th-inning tie and led to an 11-9 defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It's a huge game for us,” Bautista said after the third-longest game (in terms of innings) in franchise history. “I think we got a lot of confidence back. We know we've got a very good team and it's a long season; there's a long way to go.”
Even though the D-Backs snapped their four-game losing streak, they committed two errors, issued 10 walks, allowed four unearned runs, blew a save, made a couple of other fielding gaffes, wasted three leadoff men on base in extra innings, left 15 men on base, failed to sacrifice and went 6-for-23 (.261) with men in scoring position.
Brenly's pregame message was about picking up for each other when one facet of the game does not go well and that he still had confidence that this is a good team.
“Everybody has done something to help us lose,” Brenly said later, “so my suggestion was, ‘Let's everybody do something to help us win.’ ”
Said Steve Sparks, who earned the win with two innings of perfect relief: “That was exactly what that (game) was. We had to have guys step up at different times, and a lot of guys came through. Of course we jumped on Danny's back for quite a bit of it.”
Arizona played 22 of its 25-man roster (eight pitchers, matching a team record), had reliever Oscar Villarreal bat, used rookie pitcher Casey Daigle as a pinch hitter and brought in Sparks — Saturday's scheduled starter — for the second day in a row.
Bautista saved the D-Backs more than once. After Milwaukee scored four unearned runs in the fifth — aided by two Arizona errors — to lead 5-1, Bautista capped a four-run sixth with his second homer of the day to tie the game 5-5.
He had an RBI single in the ninth to pad a 6-5 lead, but Brooks Kieschnick's two-run homer off Matt Mantei in the bottom of the ninth tied the game 9-9.
Randy Choate (career high six strikeouts), Oscar Villarreal and Sparks (1-1) followed Mantei with two hitless innings each.
With Adrian Hernandez (0-2) in his fifth inning of relief, Matt Kata led off the top of the 15th with his third hit of the day. Kata scored on Bautista's two-out single, and Chad Tracy then singled to score an insurance run.
It was the first time this season Arizona won a game in which it trailed by more than one. And the Diamondbacks avoided being swept by the Brewers for the first time since Aug. 21-23, 2000, in Phoenix.