D-backs’ Christian Walker boots grounder, ends record fielding run for both teams at World Series
By JOHN MARSHALL – AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona’s diamond full of slick pitchers anchored one of the best defensive teams in football during the regular season.
The sterling defense continued through the postseason, sending the Diamondbacks into the World Series for the first time in 22 years.
An ill-advised fumble in the Fall Classic has pushed them to the finish line.
Gold Glove first baseman Christian Walker ended a World Series record perfect fielding run in the third inning of Game 4, opening the door for a second straight five-run inning by the Texas Rangers.
The gaffe, along with a wild pitch in the second inning, led to a 10-run deficit for the Diamondbacks that turned into an 11-7 loss on Tuesday night. In lieu of tonight’s best-of-seven series, Arizona now trails Texas 3-1 entering Game 5 on Wednesday night.
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“This is nothing we saw coming,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We had guys who were throwing the ball really well, taking the basketball on defense. It all settled down for us there in two innings – and it’s 10 runs.”
Arizona had five errors in 12 games against Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Philadelphia to open the playoffs. It was even better to start the Fall Classic.
The Rangers and Diamondbacks have combined for three games without an error to start this year The World Series, the first time that happened. The teams also promised the the major series have fewer errors during the regular season – the D-backs with 56, the Rangers 57.
Arizona’s Game 4 trouble started in the second inning, when Luis Frias hit a two-out, two-strike wild pitch that scored Josh Jung. Texas scored four more runs in the inning, capped by Corey Seager’s third two-run homer of the World Series.
“I think those are propellers in their big engines, like the next one,” said Texas second baseman Marcus Semien, who homered and had five RBIs in Game 4. out, set up five more. That changed the whole game.”
In the third inning, Walker ranged a little to the back of the field on a grounder off the bat of Jonah Heim on a potential double play. A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, he mishandled the transition to his thrown arm heading to second and was charged with an error.
The Rangers scored five runs in the inning, punctuated by Semien’s three-run homer that put them up 10-0.
“I’ll be accountable, I should have made the play, I should have at least had one,” Walker said. “I went straight to the transition and I couldn’t grab the ball. It happens.”
Texas became the first team in World Series history to score at least five runs in consecutive innings. The Rangers also became the first team to score at least five runs in two consecutive innings since Milwaukee beat Montreal in a 1999 regular season game, according to STATS.
The two big innings, due to two-out errors, put the Diamondbacks in the difficult position of needing to win three straight games – two in Texas – to win their second World Series title.
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