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Diamondbacks rally to top Brewers, 8-6

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COLIN FLY
July 5, 2011
— Bench coach Alan Trammell reminded manager Kirk Gibson and the rest of the Diamondbacks that just because Milwaukee led 6-1 on an unlikely grand slam by pitcher Shaun Marcum, the game was far from over.

After all, Trammell reasoned, the Brewers squandered a five-run lead in Minnesota on Sunday so he wondered aloud why it couldn't happen again.


"That's what you have to do to your mind in those situations. You have to say stupid stuff like that," Gibson said. "It doesn't happen very often, but why not believe it? I know I heard it."


Chris Young drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the ninth and the Diamondbacks used a stellar effort by the bullpen to beat the slumping Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Monday.


Marcum became the second pitcher in franchise history and first in nearly 42 years to hit a grand slam in fourth. Fred Talbot hit one for the Seattle Pilots on July 11, 1969, against California. The Pilots moved to Milwaukee before the 1970 season.


Arizona scored in every inning from the fourth through ninth after falling into a 6-1 hole to the best home team in the majors and got five scoreless innings from five relievers.


"We kind of picked away at it," Gibson said. "Once you get going, you kind of sense that you're putting pressure on the other team."


Miguel Montero and Wily Mo Pena homered for the Diamondbacks, who have lost six of their last nine but have a morale-boosting win on this 10-game road trip before hosting the All-Star game.


"It was a really nice comeback, we needed it to get your momentum going, get your confidence back," Montero said. "We picked each other up and had a couple of opportunities and we failed, but we just came back and kept pushing."


Corey Hart added a solo shot for the Brewers, but the bullpen failed to hold on for the second straight day. Milwaukee also squandered a five-run lead to the Twins on Sunday.


Down 6-1, Pena homered in the fifth and Arizona scored twice off Marcum in the sixth to chase him. In the seventh, reliever LaTroy Hawkins gave up a run-scoring single to Stephen Drew that cut it to 6-5.


The Diamondbacks tied it at 6 in the eighth off Kameron Loe despite getting two runners thrown out at third. First, Montero was thrown out trying to take the extra base, then Juan Miranda did the same after his run-scoring double.


"Sometimes I'm sure people think we're overly aggressively, but that's who we are and that keeps us going," Gibson said. "Ultimately, we end up getting the job done."


That set the stage for the ninth.


Kelly Johnson singled with a bunt off Brewers closer John Axford (2-2) and reached second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Young laced a single to left field to put Arizona ahead 7-6. Young stole second and reached third on a throwing error on the play. Montero singled him in for the final margin.


Axford's string of 17 consecutive save conversions was snapped with his third blown opportunity this year.


Sam Demel (2-2) earned the win with a perfect eighth inning and David Hernandez struck out the side to convert his fourth save of the season in place of J.J. Putz, who is on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis. Demel and Putz followed Alberto Castillo, Micah Owings and Joe Paterson. The five combined to give up three hits and strike out five to lift up starter Daniel Hudson.


"They all did a great job," Montero said. "We shut them down."


The Brewers had just come off a 1-5 road trip that had manager Ron Roenicke disappointed before the game because they hadn't played the same as at Miller Park, where they're an impressive 29-12 this season.


He didn't like the meltdown he saw in this one after Milwaukee appeared to be rolling even without Ryan Braun, who missed his second game with a strained left calf.


"We get two outs, we can't get that third out," Roenicke said. "They scored in six straight innings off us. With our pitching staff, I don't think that should happen."


The Brewers batted around in the fourth, starting when Corey Hart hit a 447-foot blast to deep center field. Marcum followed with his grand slam that made it 6-1.


Marcum, who spent his first five seasons in the AL with Toronto before coming to Milwaukee in an offseason trade, received a curtain call and tipped his batting helmet to the sellout crowd of 41,622.


"Going into that at-bat, I just wanted to hit the ball," Marcum said.


He did just that, but it would be the last offensive highlight for the Brewers.


"I know it's tough, you get a little frustrated, a little upset when a pitcher hits a homer," said Montero, who homered in the fourth. "But, it was still early in the game and we've been comebacking a lot the way we've been playing."


NOTES: McGehee snapped a streak of 10 straight at-bats without a hit after coming in with a .156 average with no homers over his previous 30 games. ... Brewers 1B Prince Fielder had some fun taking grounders at shortstop and second base during batting practice while Mat Gamel worked at first. The Brewers moved Gamel to first base in the minors in case Fielder leaves through free agency after the season. ... It was the 12th sellout at Miller Park this season.



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