09/01/08 8:53 PM ET
Drew delivers cycle in D-backs' win
Shortstop's five hits set career high, tie franchise record
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Drew's cycle was the first half of an historic day in the Major Leagues. Later on Tuesday, Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre also hit for the cycle, marking the first time two players did it on the same day since Sept. 17, 1920, when Bobby Veach of the Tigers and George Burns of the New York Giants did it.
But arguably more important, the D-backs' 8-6 comeback win over the Cardinals at Chase Field might end up being remembered as the game that got Arizona headed in the right direction after a disappointing weekend.
After beating the Dodgers on Friday to go up 4 1/2 games in the National League West, the D-backs had a chance to put Los Angeles in a deep hole with aces Dan Haren and Brandon Webb going in the final two games.
Instead, the Dodgers won both games to pull to within 2 1/2 as the calendar flipped to September.
"L.A. won two out of three and it was a tough series and today we were behind, but everybody just kind of pulled together and it was a great team effort," Drew said. "Everybody contributed."
Indeed, Drew gets the highlights for his 5-for-5 day to set a career high for hits in a game while also tying the franchise record, but there were plenty of others.
Reliever Jailen Peguero came on in relief of Johnson in the fourth with the bases loaded, two outs and the Cardinals threatening to add to their 5-2 lead.
Instead, the right-hander got Troy Glaus to pop out to end the frame and then pitched a scoreless fifth as the D-backs climbed to within 5-4.
"Peguero's outs were huge," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said.
So was the two-run homer by Mark Reynolds in the sixth that tied the score at 6.
Then in the seventh, pinch-hitter Jeff Salazar once again came through with a clutch pinch-hit single to lead off the inning.
Drew followed with the ground-rule double that gave him the cycle and set the stage for infielder David Eckstein, playing in his first game since being acquired from the Blue Jays on Sunday night, to put the D-backs ahead for good with a single to right that scored Salazar.
"You come someplace new and you want to go out there and do something for them," said Eckstein, who had a pair of hits and two RBIs. "You never know after last night's game are you going to come in here and be down? The club really responded and I liked what I saw. Every game is so important, especially once you start the month of September. Hopefully, this will help us get going and put us in a better position."
Finally, there was setup man Tony Pena, who had to face Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth. Pena got Pujols to roll over on a pitch for the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
"It's not the most enviable situation to be in, but Tony's been rolling pretty good and I think he understands if he keeps his sights down and throws the ball on a corner he's got a chance to get a double-play ball, and he did," Melvin said.
As for Johnson, the left-hander remains stuck at 294 career wins and has just five starts left this season, which means he likely will have to wait until 2009 to get to 300.
Johnson, who has pitched well in the second half, allowed five runs on six hits in just 3 2/3 innings. All five of the runs came thanks to four homers, which tied for the most he has allowed in a game.
"Probably location," Melvin said of why Johnson struggled. "It looked like his stuff was pretty good. His fastball looked pretty good. You don't see teams hit his slider too much and they hit a few sliders today, which means it was probably up and not getting to his spot, which is down and in to right-handers."
The D-backs experienced a scare in the eighth when right fielder Justin Upton was struck in the head by an errant pickoff throw while diving back to first base. The ball struck Upton just below his protective batting helmet, slightly behind and below his right ear.
Upton at first tried to get up to possibly advance to second, but once he got to one knee, he fell back down to the ground in obvious pain. He was removed from the game and said afterward that he was feeling better and did not think he had suffered a concussion.
"I was a little dizzy right after I got hit, but I hung out in the trainer's room for a little bit just to get myself back together," he said. "It was definitely a scary moment."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.