PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt doesn't think as many people knew about his home run against the Astros on Thursday night.
"I had a few texts," he said. "But I had more for my debut."
Goldschmidt said he was greeted by about 20 text messages after his ninth-inning, pinch-hit, game-tying home run to send the game into extra innings, where Chris Young eventually ended it in walk-off fashion for an 8-5 victory in 10 innings.
"There's a lot of guys from [Double-A] Mobile that I keep in touch with, and family members and stuff like that," he said.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson thinks the home run was a product of the time the rookie first baseman has put in trying to improve at the plate.
"The kid really asks a lot of questions, and he's had a lot of conversations," Gibson said on Thursday. "He's put in extra work -- is trying to understand at-bats, breaking balls -- and he battled."
In a 2-2 count, after fouling off another Mark Melancon breaking ball with a good swing, the Astros' right-handed closer left a fastball over the middle of the plate that Goldschmidt crushed.
"The second breaking ball he fouled off, he had a pretty good swing on," Gibson said. "Then, [Melancon] tried to get the fastball in, and he's very quick in there. That's a big at-bat from a youngster, there."
And while Goldschmidt didn't know how much he could draw from that at-bat, he said, "It doesn't hurt, that's for sure."
Saunders looks back on effort vs. Astros
PHOENIX -- For the last couple of starts, Joe Saunders could have used a Band-Aid on the mound.
"Looking back," he said, assessing Thursday night's start against the Astros, "there was maybe one decently hard-hit ball and, other than that, it was off the end of the bat, broken bats, bloopers to right, bloopers up the middle and seeing-eye ground balls."
Saunders pitched into the seventh before being removed, after allowing back-to-back hits to score a run to open the inning. The D-backs eventually won, 8-5.
His final line was six-plus innings pitched, with five runs allowed on 11 hits and a pair of strikeouts and walks.
"You do your job, make your pitches, and that's all you can ask for," the left-hander said.
He allowed a third-inning RBI single to Carlos Lee, and got himself into trouble in the fifth by walking Brett Myers to open the inning. A two-run double by J.D. Martinez and an RBI groundout by Lee later, and the Astros had a 4-0 lead.
"They're a tough team to pitch to, honestly," Saunders said. "We found that out with our other guys.
"It was a battle out there," he continued. "I tried to keep us in the ballgame the best I could, and got as many outs as I could."
Saunders is 8-9 on the season with a 3.76 ERA.
Bloomquist's at-bat keys rally vs. Houston
PHOENIX -- Lost in the aftermath of a dramatic walk-off win on Thursday night was an eighth-inning walk that set the wheels in motion for another D-backs comeback.
Trailing, 5-1, with one out against Astros right-hander Brett Myers, who kept the D-backs' offense in check most of the night, shortstop Willie Bloomquist drew a nine-pitch walk.
"It was huge," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He just kind of kept grinding pitches away. And when you're on the other side, you're looking for a quick inning. And then, all of a sudden, it was us giving notice that it wasn't going to be the case."
Bloomquist fell behind 0-2 -- taking a strike before fouling two off, then drawing three balls and fouling off two pitches, before reaching base on a low fastball.
"I was just trying to get a pitch to handle," Bloomquist said. "He didn't give me much to hit all day. He was on the edge of the plate all day long and didn't leave a whole lot over the middle of the plate.
"He threw pretty much the kitchen sink at me. I was trying to get something over the plate that I could put good wood on. But he just kept throwing everything on the edge, and the best I could do was foul it off. And I ended up getting into a full count and walked."
Bloomquist checked his swing twice on breaking balls, reached base and scored a batter later after Ryan Roberts doubled. Miguel Montero then drove Roberts home with a two-out single, and the D-backs cut a four-run deficit to two and Myers was pulled.
"It was good, and it kind of sets a good example for the rest of his teammates," Gibson said. "Kind of turns them on, too."
Anthony Fenech is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.