Rookie Paul Goldschmidt tied a club record and helped keep the Arizona Diamondbacks alive in the postseason.
Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks will try to force a decisive Game 5 in their NL division series when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
Arizona got outscored 13-5 while dropping the first two games of this series in Milwaukee, but staved off elimination Tuesday with an 8-1 victory at Chase Field.
“They have great character and they have great composure,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of his players.
Goldschmidt was a big part of the Game 3 offensive outburst, hitting a grand slam and matching a franchise postseason record – also held by Steve Finley (1999) and Danny Bautista (2001) – with five RBIs.
“Obviously, it was exciting, exciting game,” said Goldschmidt, an Aug. 1 callup who hit .250 during the regular season and is 4 for 12 with two homers in this series. “Glad we could get the win right here.”
The odds still appear to be stacked against the Diamondbacks, as all 19 previous teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in an NL division series have gone on to win.
The Brewers would like to make it 20 of 20, but could use a better offensive performance after being limited to three hits in Game 3.
Ryan Braun went 6 for 8 with one homer, three RBIs and four runs in the first two games of this series, but was 0 for 3 with a walk Tuesday. He’s 2 for 6 lifetime – with both hits homers – against Joe Saunders, the Diamondbacks’ scheduled starter for Wednesday.
Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.69 ERA) will take the mound trying to pitch Milwaukee into its first league championship series since 1982, when it lost the World Series representing the AL.
The left-hander hasn’t taken the mound since Sept. 27, when he allowed four runs, nine hits and three walks in 5 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh.
“It does feel like I haven’t pitched in a while,” Wolf said. “Especially for me, because I’m a routine guy. All I did was a few days ago I had a long bullpen, treated it as if it was a game day. And then started my routine after that, just try to stay in that five-day routine, and just kind of prepare for (Wednesday).”
Wolf lost his only other outing in Phoenix this year, yielding three runs – two earned – in 7 1-3 innings of a 3-0 defeat July 18. He had won each of his previous seven starts there with a 3.26 ERA.
Wolf made two postseason starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, allowing five runs over nine innings but not getting any decisions.
“I think that experience, at least for me, really helps out,” he said.
Saunders (12-13, 3.69) is also seeking his first postseason win, after failing to do so as a member of Los Angeles’ other team. The left-hander went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three games with the Angels in 2008 and 2009.
Now, he’s trying to help the worst-to-first Diamondbacks live to play another day in October.
“When I was with the Angels we were in the playoffs a lot,” Saunders said. “We’re a winning organization, we were a winning team. And that’s what we were kind of built to do is win baseball games.
“When I came over (to Arizona), just the vibe in the locker room at the time was just poop, really, to put it easily.”
Saunders is 0-1 in two career starts against Milwaukee, surrendering eight runs and 11 hits – three homers – in 12 2-3 innings.