PHOENIX (AP) — Being swept in three games is bad enough. Experiencing it the way the Baltimore Orioles did in Arizona is excruciating.
The Diamondbacks made it three walk-off victories in a row over Baltimore with a 5-4, 14-inning triumph on Wednesday.
Jim Johnson blew a save for the ninth time this season and second day in a row, but manager Buck Showalter refused to criticize him.
“The world’s full of those guys who come in after the war’s over and shoot the wounded. I’m not one of those guys,” Showalter said. “I’ll leave that to the guys who are outside the arena.”
Showalter was asked if was sticking with Johnson in the closer’s role. Johnson leads the majors with 39 saves, despite his many struggles.
“Am I going to sit Adam Jones because he had a rough day today?” Showalter said. “I as a manager can’t live in that world. We’ve got a lot of pieces in the chain that have to work and every club does. And I’ll be the first guy to make adjustments if they need to be made, but there’s a lot of things that we’ve got to shore up besides that.”
Despite the debacle in the desert, Baltimore finished its eight-game trip to the NL West 4-4.
They are ready, for sure, to go home.
“It was a tough series. There’s nothing you can do about it now,” said starter Chris Tillman, thwarted in his bid for a 15th win. “You’ve got to look forward to the next one at home. I think we’ll be all right. With a few adjustments here and there, I think we’ll be all right.”
The Orioles led entering the seventh inning in all three games — 4-2 on Monday, 3-0 on Tuesday and 4-2 again on Wednesday.
Monday, Adam Eaton homered in the ninth to give the Diamondbacks the victory. Tuesday, Paul Goldschmidt tied it with a home run in the ninth and won it with another in the 11th. On Wednesday, Adam Hill’s RBI single in the 14th was the difference. It was the only hit for Arizona in the extra innings.
Hill forced extra innings with an RBI single in the ninth.
Bud Norris (8-10), who started and threw five innings in San Francisco on Sunday, came on in the 14th and walked two batters ahead of Hill’s single to take the loss.
Heath Bell (4-1) threw an inning to get the victory.
Norris, the Orioles’ eighth pitcher, walked Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado on four pitches apiece to start the 14th. He struck out Goldschmidt, and Hill joked about the reaction from the stands.
“The crowd was like `Oh, man,”‘ Hill said, “but he’s done it enough this year. It’s time for someone else, right?”
Hill’s single just got through the infield as Parra raced home with the winner.
Norris refused to talk to reporters afterward. He had skipped his scheduled bullpen session Wednesday to be ready if he was needed should the game go extra innings after the 11-inning affair on Tuesday night.
“We knew he was going to be able to throw a couple of innings for us,” Showalter said. “He throws more pitches on his work day, which would have been today, than he did in the game.”
The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the 10th but Brad Ziegler induced Nate McLouth into a double-play grounder to second.
Arizona got a run in the seventh on Prado’s RBI single, then threatened but failed to score in the eighth.
Parra, who tripled in a run in the second, doubled to left off Johnson to start the ninth. Prado’s bunt failed to advance the runner, then after a quick trip to the mound by Showalter, Goldschmidt was walked intentionally.
That brought up Hill, who singled sharply to left on the first pitch to tie it. Goldschmidt moved to third on the play but was stranded when Matt Davidson struck out and Tuffy Gosewisch grounded to short.
All four Baltimore runs came with two outs against Patrick Corbin in the second, two of them on Manny Machado’s home run.
Corbin failed for the fourth time in his bid for a 13th victory. He went seven innings, giving up four runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Tillman went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
NOTES: When they recalled Campana, the Diamondbacks optioned LHP Tyler Skaggs to Triple-A Reno. Skaggs had been with the team for a couple of days as a long-inning relief option in his latest in a series of stints with the big league club. … Three pitchers were used as pinch hitters, Randall Delgado and Wade Miley for Arizona, Scott Feldman for Baltimore. … The Orioles return home for a three-game interleague series with Colorado, sending LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-5, 3.06 ERA) to the mound against the Rockies’ RHP Juan Nicasio (6-6, 5.04) in the opener Friday night. … Arizona leaves on a 10-game road trip, beginning with a three-game series in Pittsburgh. RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-6, 4.73) goes for the Diamondbacks in Friday’s opener with RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.95) starting for the Pirates.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)