PHOENIX (AP) – Relief pitcher Archie Bradley hit a stunning triple in the seventh inning, driving in two runs with one of four three-baggers by Arizona that sent the Diamondbacks past the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night.
Paul Goldschmidt launched an early three-run homer and the Diamondbacks built a 6-0 lead before ace Zack Greinke faltered. Colorado climbed back into it and cut it to 8-7 when Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story hit back-to-back homers in the eighth off Bradley, perhaps exhausted from hustling around the bases and shouting in excitement to giddy teammates.
But then A.J. Pollock knocked in two runs with Arizona’s fourth triple, this one off closer Greg Holland, as the Diamondbacks scored three times in their half of the eighth to finally put away a wild game.
Arizona moved on to a best-of-five Division Series against the NL West champion Dodgers, a team the Diamondbacks beat the last six times they played. Game 1 is Friday night in Los Angeles.
Arizona became the first team with four triples in a postseason game since the Boston Americans (now Red Sox) twice hit five during the first World Series back in 1903 against Pittsburgh.
It was that kind of crazy night in the desert as the two NL West foes slugged it out. Daniel Descalso also homered for the Diamondbacks, and Ketel Marte tripled twice.
Bradley, the spirited reliever who had one hit in four at-bats all season, knocked Pat Neshek’s 3-1 pitch to deep left-center with two outs in the seventh for the first triple by a reliever in postseason history.
The lanky pitcher, a fan favorite with a bushy beard, regrouped from the two solo homers he gave up to get the final two outs of the eighth with the Diamondbacks clinging to a one-run lead.
Fernando Rodney allowed a run in the ninth before closing it out.
Jonathan Lucroy doubled twice, scored two runs and drove in one for the Rockies in their first postseason appearance since 2009.
Jake Lamb tied an Arizona postseason record with four hits, all singles, and scored three times.
Marte, who came to Arizona with pitcher Taijuan Walker from Seattle for Jean Segura in an offseason deal, became the first player to triple twice in a postseason game since Mariano Duncan did it for Philadelphia against Atlanta in the 1993 NL Championship Series.
The home team won for just the second time in the six NL wild-card games since the one-game format was adopted in 2012. The hosts hadn’t even scored in the last three, but the Diamondbacks ended that before their first out.