PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks jumped to an early four-run lead, and nearly blew it in the ninth inning.
Their starting pitcher earned his first win in the majors. They even scored on infield fly rule popup.
The most impressive highlight of a wild night: a kid stealing the ball from an outfielder trying to steal a home run.
Tommy Pham lost a homer when a kid snatched the ball from Cincinnati left fielder Spencer Steer’s glove, but the Diamondbacks did enough offensive damage before that to beat the Reds 10-8 on Friday night.
“Once I saw what happened, I had the same reaction every fan had in the stadium that it was a pretty remarkable play by the kid,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It looked like the ball was in Steer’s glove and the kid stole it. I don’t know how he did it.”
Pham followed Jace Peterson’s two-run triple with a two-run double off Hunter Greene (2-6), giving the Diamondbacks a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning.
With Arizona leading 8-4 in the seventh, Pham sent a towering shot to the wall in left. Reds outfielder Spencer Steer timed his leap perfectly and had the ball in his glove, seemingly robbing Pham of the homer.
One problem: a kid stole the ball from Steer.
Also wearing a glove, the kid reached into Steer’s glove and pulled the ball out, leaving the left fielder slumped against the wall.
The umpires initially ruled Pham’s shot a homer and the hometown fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” at the kid when they saw video of his robbery.
The home run was negated after review, setting off a chorus of boos at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks’ broadcast showed the kid and his family being removed from their seats by security.
“I was in the dugout like, out, it’s clear interference,” Pham said. “I just feel bad for him because kids really don’t don’t know that interference rules, so sucks that you got to get kicked out for that.”
That wasn’t the end of the drama.
Cincinnati loaded the bases against Justin Martinez and Will Benson hit a grand slam, cutting Arizona’s lead to 10-8. Kevin Ginkel struck out the final two batters for his fourth save in five chances.
“That’s a lot of runs, but our offense did a good job of continuing to battle,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They gave us an opportunity at the end and at that point in the game that’s what you’re looking for.”
Arizona’s Brandon Pfaadt (1-6) allowed two hits on three runs in 5 1/3 innings for his first big league victory. Peterson had two triples and three RBIs.
The Diamondbacks have won six straight and 11 of 13 to move a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.
“It was a really good day for our offense,” Lovullo said. “It was all-field approach. It was patience and it equaled 10 runs. We’re in a good spot offensively.”
Nick Martini hit his first two homers in four years and had four RBIs for the Reds, who dropped a game behind the Cubs in the wild-card standings.
INFIELD FLY RUN
The Diamondbacks scored a bizarre run in the sixth inning, when Reds left fielder Spencer Steer collided with shortstop Elly De La Cruz.
De La Cruz caught the ball after the infield fly rule was invoked, but was knocked down by Steer. Geraldo Perdomo took advantage of the collision, just beating De La Cruz’s throw home to put Arizona up 6-4.
“A player goes down on the field and he was ready to take advantage,” Lovullo said. “I thought that was a really heady play and the things we do really well around here.”
Cincinnati RHP Ben Lively (right pectoral muscle strain) joined the team in Arizona and could start Saturday’s game instead of making a third rehab start. … The Reds stopped LHP Nick Lodolo’s rehab assignment after he suffered a setback in a rehab start on Sunday. He’s been out since mid-May with a stress reaction in his left tibia.
Arizona RHP Zach Davies (1-5, 7.38 ERA) returns from the injured list with lower back inflammation to pitch in Saturday’s game. The Reds have yet to name a starter.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb