By HAL McCOY
It was about 2 a.m. Thursday morning when Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin was awakened in his hotel room by a phone call.
“You’re pitching today,” said Corbin’s manager, Torey Lovullo. Taijuan Walker, the scheduled starter, left town on maternity leave when his wife went into labor.
With a 1-and-6 road record this year, the left handed Corbin was not the ideal choice. But he was Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds.
Corbin pitched 7 1/3 innings in debilitating heat and held the Reds to one run and seven hits to lead the D-Backs to a 12-2 victory.
AND CORBIN DIDN’T HAVE his full complement of regulars behind him. Lovullo used the day to rest many of his regulars, playing a team he calls his Bomb Squad.
The Bomb Squad attacked Reds starter Luis Castillo quickly. The first three batters of the game scored. Castillo walked irregular Daniel Descalso and irregular Chris Iannetta doubled. Then regular Jake Lamb cleared the center field wall with a 425-foot home run and Castillo was behind, 3-0, before getting an out.
Castillo settled in after that. He gave up only one run and two hits after the first three batters, walked one and struck out seven in his six innings.
BUT THE REDS OFFENSE WAS dormant against Corbin, who pitched the D-Backs to only their fifth win in 17 games — two against the Reds in this three-game series.
Billy Hamilton led the bottom of the first with a double. Inexplicably, though, with one out, his team down three runs and Joey Votto batting, he tried to steal third and was thrown out by catcher Chris Iannetta, one of the Bomb Squaders. Hamilton was also thrown out trying to steal second Wednesday, so when he was thrown out Thursday it was the first time in three years he has been thrown out twice in a series.
Iannetta had a big day. Besides throwing out Hamilton, he had two doubles (18 of his last 20 hits have been for extra bases)
THE REDS HAD A MAMMOTH chance in the fourth inning. Eugenio Suarez led the inning with a home run, then Joey Votto, Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett singled.
That loaded the bases with no outs and the Reds down, 3-1. They didn’t score. Corbin retired Devin Mesoraco on a pop to shortstop, struck out slumping Scott Schebler (3 for 30) and retired Jose Peraza on a pop to second.
The D-Backs added a fourth run against Castillo in the fifth on a triple by Bomb Squader Gregor Blanco and a sacrifice fly by Bomb Squader Daniel Descalso.
Tony Cingrani replaced Castillo in the seventh and he walked Bomb Squader Ketel Marte and Bomb Squader Gregor Blanco homered to make it 6-1.
FORMER REDS RELIEF PITCHER J.J. Hoover replaced Corbin in the eighth and gave up a one-out home run to Eugenio Suarez, his second home run of the game, but it was mere window dressing as the Reds lost for the sixth time in seven games since the All-Star break.
And the D-Backs Bomb Squaders plus Jake Lab put an exclamation point to their performance in the ninth inning against Ariel Hernandez.
They scored six runs. Ketel Marte turned a 100 miles an hour fastball by into a two-run home run and later Lamb hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot to left field to give him six RBI.
Lovullo likes to call his offense shock and awe and it was there Thursday. It shocked the Reds and left everybody in awe — four home runs, three doubles and a triple.
Reds pitchers have given up 20 home runs in their seven games since the All-Star break. They lead the majors with 168 home run given up and are on pace to give up a major league record 279, which would beat their own record set last year.