PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks, although they probably will not say so on the record, apparently decided the seventh inning was a good time to plunk Ryan Braun.
Boy did that backfire.
The pitch, with the Diamondbacks holding a two-run lead, loaded the bases for Milwaukee.
Brad Ziegler came in and Jonathan Lucroy hit the very next delivery over the wall in left field for a grand slam that sent the Brewers to a 7-5 win Tuesday night.
It was the first grand slam and only the 16th home run Ziegler has allowed in his major league career.
“You wouldn’t think that would happen,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “He doesn’t give up home runs. We were looking for a double-play ball there. It didn’t work out.”
Rookie reliever Evan Marshall was ejected after he drilled Braun – and it took two tries to do it. The first pitch went behind Braun, leading plate umpire Ted Barrett to go to the mound for a nose-to-nose conversation with the pitcher.
“He asked what happened,” Marshall said. “I told him the ball slipped, just like it did. He gave me a ball and returned to the plate.”
Then Marshall reared back and hit Braun in the left hip.
“We know the way the game works. I wasn’t surprised I got hit,” Braun said. “I was surprised I got hit in that situation, those circumstances – go-ahead run at second base, tying run at third.”
Marshall, who got high-fives in the dugout after he was tossed, had a slight smile on his face as he insisted he didn’t do it on purpose.
“They won the tough-guy points, but I don’t know what the stats are for those,” Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse said. “We won the game because of that.”
Lucroy insisted the Diamondbacks drilling Braun did not provide added motivation.
“I’m not about revenge or payback,” the catcher said. “I’m just about winning the game. It worked out for us.”
Marshall (2-2) took the loss, facing three batters without getting an out after relieving starter Mike Bolsinger, who was called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.
Lucroy had a solo homer in the sixth. Aramis Ramirez also hit a solo shot for the Brewers.
Lohse (8-2), who had hit three batters all season, plunked two in his six innings. He grazed Didi Gregorius to start the game, then hit Chris Owings just below the back of his head to start the sixth.
Lohse also threw one over Bolsinger’s head, and the Brewers hit a batter in Monday night’s win as well.
So Marshall retaliated?
“I am not going to comment on that,” Gibson said. “You have been around the game long enough.”
Arizona’s Roger Kieschnick hit his first career homer, off Francisco Rodriguez to start the ninth. The ball landed in the swimming pool beyond the right-field fence.
With the Brewers trailing 4-2, Jean Segura led off the seventh with his second triple of the night, off the wall in center, and scored on Elian Herrera’s sacrifice fly.
That ended the night for Bolsinger, who had a 4-2 lead when he left. He wound up allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Marshall came in and gave up a pinch-hit single to Lyle Overbay, then a double by Scooter Gennett to put runners on second and third. That brought up Braun, and Marshall nailed him.
“That’s ridiculous,” Lucroy said. “It’s overreacting.”
Gibson has been outspoken since Braun’s 65-game suspension last year for violating baseball’s drug agreement during the 2011 season, which included the slugger’s big series when the Brewers edged the Diamondbacks in the NL playoffs.
Asked if he thought that figured in Marshall’s pitch, Braun said: “You’d have to ask him (Gibson). I wish him the best, hope he finds peace and happiness in his life.”
NOTES: It was the second ejection for the Diamondbacks in two nights. Gibson was tossed in the ninth inning Monday. … A victory would have lifted Arizona out of last place in the NL West. … To make room for Bolsinger, the Diamondbacks optioned reliever Will Harris to Triple-A Reno. … Brewers CF Carlos Gomez sat out his second consecutive game with a sore hamstring. … In the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night, the Brewers send Matt Garza (4-4, 4.17 ERA) to the mound against Wade Miley (3-6, 4.71).