PHOENIX — Mark Leiter Jr.'s first big-league start was a memorable one. The 26-year-old right-hander from Toms River, New Jersey, pitched six shutout innings to lead the Phillies to a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Friday night.
The win was the Phillies' second in a row and just their third in the last 16 games. It came against an Arizona club that entered the day in second place in the NL West. The D-backs are 46-28 and have the best home offense in the majors, averaging 6.48 runs per game in their ballpark.
But Leiter, called up to replace injured Jerad Eickhoff, held off that lineup for his first big-league win. He also had his first big-league hit.
The Phillies are 24-48, worst in the majors.
Starting pitching report
Leiter held one of baseball's best offenses scoreless for six innings. He gave up three hits, walked just one and struck out five. The right-hander had one trouble spot. It came in the fourth when he allowed a one-out double to David Peralta then walked Paul Goldschmidt to put runners on first and second. Leiter then retired Jake Lamb and Chris Owings to get out of the inning. He punched his glove with excitement as he left the field. Leiter retired the final six batters he faced and left with a 1-0 lead.
Arizona's Patrick Corbin pitched one-run ball over 6 2/3 innings.
Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless seventh inning to protect a one-run lead. Neshek, the subject of some controversy in recent days (see story), has allowed just two runs in 29 2/3 innings this season.
Joaquin Benoit allowed a run in the eighth, but got the final two outs with the tying run at third.
Hector Neris pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Arizona's bullpen gave up five runs in the final two innings.
At the plate
Freddy Galvis tripled with one out in the first inning and scored on a groundout.
Maikel Franco put the Phils up, 2-0, on a solo homer in the top of the eighth. He got the green light on 3-0 and hammered a liner over the right-field wall.
The Phillies were clinging to a 2-1 lead when they erupted for four runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by Tommy Joseph's two-run homer. Cameron Rupp and Howie Kendrick (pinch-hitter) also had important hits in the ninth.
The D-backs got on the board on an infield single by Rey Fuentes and a triple by Daniel Descalso in the eighth.
In the field
Odubel Herrera had an adventurous night in center field. He misplayed a ball into a double in the third inning then promptly gunned down the runner at third as he tried to advance on a fly ball.
Galvis made a tremendous snag on a hard liner by Peralta for the second out of the eighth inning. Galvis made the play up on the grass with the potential tying run on third.
Kendrick was scratched from the starting lineup with left hamstring tightness. Andres Blanco started at second base. Kendrick had a pinch-hit double in the ninth.
The series continues Saturday night with Ben Lively (1-1, 3.33) pitching against Arizona lefty Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.87).