Jake McCarthy was demoted to Triple-A Reno in late April with a demoralizing .143 average in 63 at-bats.
After rediscovering his stroke and regaining his confidence in the minors, McCarthy has been lighting it up for the Arizona Diamondbacks since his return on May 26
McCarthy hit the tiebreaking homer in Arizona’s 6-3 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday night. He will look to help the Diamondbacks sweep a three-game series against the Guardians on Sunday afternoon in Phoenix
McCarthy went deep to start the eighth inning off Cleveland ace Shane Bieber to help propel Arizona to victory. Corbin Carroll hit a two-run blast and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a solo shot later in the inning as the Diamondbacks won their second straight game following a three-game slide
Christian Walker also went deep for Arizona, which is a surprising 15 games above .500 and leads the National League West by four games.
McCarthy’s blast was the biggest, coming off a former Cy Young Award winner who had faced few issues prior to the eighth inning.
“It was timely. Tie game. Bieber pitched pretty well,” McCarthy said of the homer. “It was nice to take advantage of a mistake.”
McCarthy, 25, is batting .318 in 66 at-bats since his return to raise his season average to .233. He has racked up 12 of his 14 steals during that span. Saturday’s homer was his second of the season.
He’ll enter the series finale with a six-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .417 (10-for-24).
McCarthy also was beaming about the Diamondbacks‘ 21st comeback win. Arizona trailed 2-0 before Walker’s two-run blast in the fourth
“I think there’s no quit in this team,” McCarthy said. “We can win in a lot of different ways. We can get creative and I think we’re super competitive. … We’re never out of it. That’s why we play nine innings.”
The Guardians have been outscored 11-4 in the series and have dropped four of their last five games
Cleveland failed to take advantage of getting its top hitters on base repeatedly as both leadoff hitter Steven Kwan and No. 2 batter Amed Rosario had four hits apiece. Rosario also reached base on an error.
Standout Jose Ramirez left seven runners on base over his first four at-bats. He got another chance with the bases loaded in the ninth and hit a sacrifice fly when the Guardians needed a big hit
“I think if we put ourselves in good spots, we’ve got Jose and he’s one of the best to ever do it,” Kwan said of Ramirez’s reputation for delivering key hits. “We’ll be OK, but right now it didn’t fall today.”
“We couldn’t get a big hit,” Francona said. “They made some plays. They’re a very good defensive team and they made good pitches when they had to.”
Right-hander Zach Davies (1-2, 5.46 ERA) will be on the mound for the Diamondbacks on Sunday
Davies, 30, struggled while losing to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday as he gave up six runs (four earned) and six hits over three innings.
Davies has a 6.14 ERA without recording a decision in two career starts against Cleveland.
Rosario is 8-for-12 with a homer against Davies. Josh Bell is 2-for-20.
Rookie right-hander Tanner Bibee (2-2, 3.91) will look to bounce back from his worst outing of the season. Bibee gave up six runs and eight hits over four innings while losing to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
Bibee, 24, allowed two or fewer runs in six of his first eight starts. He has walked one or fewer five times.
–Field Level Media
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