Top 9: The Marlins get the 8-6 win and put themselves in position for a possible doubleheader sweep as Lindstrom delivers a perfect ninth and records his eighth save. The story of this game is the offense, which finally shows signs of life. It's only the second time this month they score eight runs.
Bottom 8: Lindstrom receives an extra run to work with when Wes Helms delivers a 2-out RBI single off Doug Slaten. The Marlins almost ended up with nothing after putting themselves in prime scoring position -- first and third with no outs. Ronny Paulino is tagged out in a rundown between third and home after De Aza bounces to first and the throw comes to the plate and Bonifacio flies to left. In the middle, Ross Gload reaches on shortstop Stephen Drew's third error of the game. Thus, the run is unearned. 8-6 Marlins as we move to the ninth.
Top 8: Mark Reynolds stole his fourth base of the game to tie an Arizona franchise mark. But the D-Backs are held scoreless and it remains 7-6. Chris Young failed to put down a sac bunt, striking out when he fouled off his 2-strike bunt attempt, and is now wearing the Golden Sombrero due to his 4-whiff game. Unless the Marlins score in their half of the inning, it looks like it's going to come down to Matt Lindstrom to preserve the win. He's warming up in the 'pen.
Bottom 7: Cody Ross is smoking hot at the moment. After doubling this inning, he has now reached base in seven straight trips to the plate. Nothing comes of his 2-out double, though, and this one looks like it'll go down the wire.
Top 7: The Diamondbacks refuse to go away. Tracy homers off Dan Meyer to lead off the seventh and Arizona cuts the lead to 7-6 on Parra's RBI single. Kiko Calero has to take over for Meyer with one out to prevent further damage. By the way, many of the seats have filled over the course of the game. Sure seems like a larger crowd than is normal for a typical weekday. Probably doesn't hurt that fans are being treated to two games for the price of one.
Bottom 6: A 1-2-3 inning for the Marlins.
Top 6: Just heard some disturbing news involving Diamondbacks reliever Scott Schoeneweis, whose wife was found dead earlier today at their home in Arizona. Here's the story I just found: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/sports/mlb/diamondbacks/wife_of_diamondbacks_pitcher_found_dead_05_20_2009. I was just told by the Arizona Republic's beat writer that Schoeneweis left the team to return home shortly before today's game.
-- Volstad's day is done after the D-Backs make it 7-4. De Aza goes in to pinch-hit for the pitcher. Volstad finishes the day with a career-high 9 K's.
Bottom 5: It seemed like a smart move at the time when Zona manager A.J. Hinch replaced Davis with Jon Rauch to face Uggla with the bases loaded and one out. After all, Uggla had gone 0 for 7 with three K's against the tall reliever. But Rauch uncorked a wild pitch, enabling Ramirez to score from third, and Uggla followed with a long, 3-run homer that caromed off the foul pole in left to make it 7-3. Uggla now has 4 RBI on the game.
Top 5: Oops! Just like that, Zona makes it 3-3. Reynolds draws a walk to lead off the inning, steals second and third, and scores on Tracy's single up the middle. Snyder homers to left on an 0-1 pitch. Could this become another of those blown-lead losses for the Marlins? The problem has been their failure to add on runs, obviously. May has been a disaster offensively. They're hitting .229 for the month and their 65 runs in May (going into Wednesday) tied them with the D-Backs for 26th in the majors.
Bottom 4: A quiet fourth for the Fish.
Top 4: Volstad is absolutely dealing. He just polished off another 1-2-3 frame and has now retired 11 straight. The D-Backs are flailing. V-Stad has 6 K's. Career high is 7. We might get out of here before midnight after all.
Bottom 3: Marlins go up 3-0 on Uggla's bases-loaded walk. The lead should be larger, but Bonifacio was picked off first after reaching on a bunt to start the inning. Anyone keeping a tally on the number of times Bonifacio has been picked off this season? I know of at least one other instance. The good news for Bonifacio is that he's already reached twice. He began the day with an on-base percentage of .302, which ranked him 22nd among the 27 leadoff hitters with at least 100 plate appearances. Some pretty big names below him, though: Grady Sizemore, B.J. Upton and Jimmy Rollins, who is pulling up the rear.
By the way, do you think Davis was being especially careful with Uggla? Uggla might not be hitting a lick, but he's dangerous when the bases are jammed, as evidenced by a career .415 (17 for 41) average in those situations.
Top 3: Volstad still cooking even after being robbed of what would have been his second hit of the season. We're told he was once a pretty decent batsman at Palm Beach Gardens High, but have seen no evidence of that so far. He is now 4 for 41 as a big-leaguer. His pitching, on the other hand, is a different story. He set the D-Backs down in order again. That makes eight straight. The only hit -- Parra's single in the first -- was a weak looper to shallow left.
Bottom 2: Check out Baseball Tonight later today. We just saw an amazing, Web Gem candidate to end the third. As Volstad's line drive goes sailing toward center, D-Backs pitcher Doug Davis throws his arm up in the air and deflects the ball to Arizona 1B Chad Tracy for the "easy" 1-3 out. They don't teach that one.
Top 2: Very sharp 1-2-3 inning for Volstad, who strikes out Reynolds and Young before getting Tracy on an easy ground ball. Here's the view from the press box:
Bottom 1: The Marlins draw first blood, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Bonifacio and Hermida start things off with back-to-back singles and execute a double steal before Jorge Cantu records his 34th RBI with a ground ball out that scores Bonifacio. The only NL players with more RBI than Cantu: Fielder, Pujols and Ibanez. Cody Ross drives in the second run with a double. Ross now has a 5-game hitting streak. Now let's see if the Marlins can make this lead stick to the end. They've lost leads in 11 of their 21 losses.
Top 1: Volstad cruised through the first without any difficulty. The guy can't buy a win, though. Volstad's last victory came April 14 at Atlanta. In his six starts since, he has gone 0-3 with an ERA of 3.96. Another small crowd, though not as skimpy as those the past two nights. Then again, the weather is a heckuva lot nicer.
All aboard for the 29th doubleheader in franchise history for the Marlins. They're 6-6-16 (six sweeps, six times being swept, and 16 splits) in twinbills. Speaking of Marlins history, it was nice to see Dontrelle Willis turn in an impressive outing for the Tigers last night after everything he's been through.
Looks like the weather's cooperating. Sun's out, at least. I'll be updating throughout the game, which starts at 5:10.
Here are the lineups again (along with each hitter's numbers vs. Davis and Volstad). By the way, four guys named Chris (Coghlan, Volstad, Young and Snyder) in the starting lineups.
Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, 3b (---); 2. Jeremy Hermida, rf (1 for 1, 2b); 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss (2 for 9, 2 rbi); 4. Jorge Cantu, 1b (0 for 3); 5. Cody Ross, cf (4 for 13, 1 HR, 5 rbi); 6. Dan Uggla, 2b; (2 for 7); 7. Ronny Paulino, c (5 for 18, 2 rbi); 8. Chris Coghlan, lf (---); 9. Chris Volstad, p.
Diamondbacks: 1. Felipe Lopez, 2b (1 for 3); 2. Gerardo Parra, lf; 3. Justin Upton, rf; 4. Stephen Drew, ss (1 for 3); 5. Mark Reynolds, 3b (0 for 2); 6. Chris Young, cf (2 for 3, HR); 7. Chad Tracy (1 for 3), 1b; 8. Chris Snyder, c; 9. Doug Davis, p.