D-backs walk off with win over Giants
Jackson connects on RBI single in bottom of 12th inning
PHOENIX -- For two days, whenever he tried to hit, Conor Jackson felt nauseous.
On Sunday, though, it was a hit by Jackson that sickened the Giants, as he singled home Ryan Roberts to give Arizona a 5-4 win in 12 innings.
With the win, the D-backs were able to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Giants.
"It was huge," third baseman Mark Reynolds said. "It was a great win. It really raises the morale in the clubhouse a lot. We're doing all we can to prepare and win games, and today we put together some good at-bats in the ninth and were able to come away with a win."
In a game filled with big at-bats, Jackson's will certainly get the most attention, but he never would have gotten the chance to be the hero had it not been for a dramatic ninth-inning comeback, capped by a Justin Upton home run.
The D-backs trailed, 4-1, heading into the ninth against San Francisco closer Brian Wilson.
Chad Tracy led off with a double down the right-field line, and he scored when Reynolds followed with a single to right to cut the lead to two runs.
One out later, with one on, Upton mashed a line drive to left that just snuck over the wall for a game-tying two-run homer.
There was no question that Upton hit the ball hard, but there was plenty of doubt whether it had enough height to get out.
"I didn't think it was high enough to go out, to tell you the truth," manager Bob Melvin said.
Neither did Upton, who said that he was more concerned with running hard to get a double on the play.
"I knew I had gotten it pretty good, but other than that, I thought at the least it was going to hit the wall," Upton said.
After a tough spring and a bad start at the plate, Upton has had noticeably better at-bats of late, hitting safely in eight of his last 10 games, at a .303 clip.
"It's getting there," he said. "We're working every day to lock in something, and I'm feeling better."
Until the ninth, the game was eerily similar to so many others in what has been a frustrating start for the D-backs.
"It was setting up to be the same type of game, where we just couldn't get the big hits when we needed to," Melvin said.
The D-backs got on the board first with a solo homer by Reynolds, but the Giants answered with a run of their own in the fourth, and the Arizona bats were unable to provide any more support for starter Jon Garland.
The right-hander kept the Giants at bay until the eighth, when with one out, Pablo Sandoval blasted a 2-2 fastball down the right-field line to give San Francisco a three-run lead.
Garland was trying to get the pitch up and in on the free-swinging Sandoval, but he didn't get it in quite as much as he wanted.
"That's actually a pitch that nine out of 10 big leaguers probably take," Garland said. "He's going up there hacking. He got it. I'm shocked he kept it fair. It is what it is."
After the D-backs tied things up in the ninth, the two teams traded zeroes until the 12th, when Giants reliever Brandon Medders, working into his third inning, walked Miguel Montero to start the frame. Montero moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Young and, after an intentional walk to Felipe Lopez, Augie Ojeda drew a free pass to load the bases.
Melvin sent Roberts in to run for Montero, and San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy brought in Justin Miller to face Jackson, who jumped ahead in the count, 2-0.
Jackson then fouled off a pitch, took a pitch for a ball and fouled off the 3-1 pitch to run the count full.
"I'm looking for something over the plate to get in the air, just put the ball in play, whether it be a fly ball or a ground ball in the hole," Jackson said. "My mind-set is pretty much, 'Just make contact.' "
For Jackson, it was a positive outcome after what had been a frustrating few days. After undergoing minor oral surgery last week, he had a bad reaction to the medication he was given and was forced to miss a couple of games.
Though Jackson is clearly feeling better, the question now is whether the D-backs can build a little momentum off the win with the Cubs coming to town on Monday.
"I think everyone has kind of been asking that for the last week," Jackson said. "Baseball is just a vicious game. You go through cycles. You're going to go through ups, and you're going to go through downs. Hopefully, this will give us some momentum going into the Chicago series."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.