Edwin Diaz earns 50th save as Mariners beat Diamondbacks in 10th
PHOENIX — Edwin Diaz had a rare night of struggles, facing runners on the corners with no outs in a one-run game. A rundown and two fly outs later, the Seattle closer reached a rare milestone.
Now it’s time for Diaz’s manager to get a haircut.
Diaz worked out of a jam in the 10th inning to become the 17th player in big league history with 50 saves in a season and Denard Span hit a solo home run in the top half to lift the Mariners to a 4-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Diaz made a bet with Scott Servais in April that he’d hit 50 saves this season and now the Mariners manager has to pay up by getting a haircut like his closer’s — possibly as early as Sunday.
“They said they had a barber here, so he might get it tomorrow,” Diaz said. “Let’s see what happens.”
Arizona took a 3-1 lead in the seventh on A.J. Pollock‘s broken-bat, two-run single, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t hold it.
“He just hit it in the right spot and that’s what happened,” Boxberger said. “It just didn’t work out today.”
Jake Diekman (0-1) got the first out of the 10th before Span sent a drive onto the pool deck in right-center for the go-ahead run.
Arizona had runners at the corners after a pair of singles off Diaz in the 10th, but Paul Goldschmidt got caught in a rundown trying to score on David Peralta‘s grounder to third. Diaz got Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte to fly out to reach the 50-save milestone and win his haircut bet.
“It’s all in good fun,” Servais said. “It’s really hard to get 50 saves in this game.”
Eduardo Escobar hit a solo homer for the Diamondbacks, who went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position to drop into a tie with Colorado atop the National League West.
“These are grinding, tough losses, but this group has been resilient, very tough and they’ll be ready to play tomorrow,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray had command problems in his previous start, walking five while allowing three runs on two hits in 4 1/3 innings of a win over San Diego.
The left-hander had trouble almost immediately against the Mariners, watching his second pitch of the night sail deep to center for a home run by Haniger. The Mariners loaded the bases as Ray bounced several curveballs in the dirt, but he struck out Seager and Mike Zunino to escape the jam.
Ray pitched out of another bases-loaded jam in the fourth, leaving after allowing a run and five hits in five innings.
The left-hander gave up the homer to Escobar in the first but limited the Diamondbacks to three hits over the next four innings. He allowed a run and struck out six in six innings.
The Diamondbacks paid tribute to John McCain by posting a picture of the Arizona Senator on the video board, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd. An avid sports fan and supporter of Arizona’s teams, McCain died on Saturday after battling brain cancer. He was 81.
The Mariners are still in the mix for the American League West title at 5 1/2 games behind Houston and are four games behind Oakland in the wild-card race. Diaz is a big reason for it.
The left-hander broke Eric Gagne’s single-season record with his 25th save in a one-run game, and the Mariners are 59-0 when he enters a game with the lead.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (bruised left forearm) will throw a bullpen Tuesday and likely be slotted back into the rotation next weekend against Oakland.
Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke is 5-1 with a 2.24 ERA in 12 career games (10 starts) against Seattle heading into Sunday. RHP Mike Leake will pitch for the Mariners after missing his previous turn with an illness.
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