Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
It was early on Monday afternoon and Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton paused choosing his words carefully. Asked to reflect on what has been a difficult season Eaton was trying to stay positive but for a moment was struggling to find the words. “Hopefully” he said “this is an afterthought after we go the playoffs and the World Series. Hopefully — the injuries the tough times the up and downs. Hopefully it’s an afterthought.” With more games like Monday night perhaps it will be. Eaton launched a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning his first home run of the season giving the Diamondbacks a 7-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Chase Field. The shot helped the Diamondbacks win a game in which their bullpen coughed up two more save opportunities allowing them to maintain the blistering pace set by the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and stay afloat with their more-realistic wild-card chances. The Diamondbacks remain 7 1/2 games back of the Dodgers who won for the 21st time in 24 games since the All-Star break and 5 1/2 back of the Cincinnati Reds who own the second and final National League wild-card berth. They won in part thanks to long balls from two guys who hadn’t yet homered this season both of them coming almost immediately after Diamondbacks relievers blew saves. Start in the top of the eighth. Leading 5-4 lead the Diamondbacks handed off to newcomer Joe Thatcher the lefty acquired at the trade deadline specifically to face tough left-handed hitters. But against Chris Davis the Orioles slugger in the midst of a monster year Thatcher fired a full-count fastball on the outer half of the plate. It wasn’t too bad a pitch but Davis crushed it to the opposite field for a game-tying solo home run. It wasn’t tied for long thanks to another unlikely home run this one by Wil Nieves. Nieves 35 entered the year with a career .229 average in parts of nine seasons. He is viewed as the prototypical backup catcher a player known more for his ability behind the plate than at it.
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