PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona catcher Johnny Estrada thought he
deserved to make the National League All-Star team.
Three days after the game, Estrada showed why it may have been a
mistake to leave him off. And he did it against Milwaukee closer
Derrick Turnbow, an All-Star.
Estrada hit a two-run home run off Turnbow in the ninth inning
to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 4-3 victory over the Brewers
"Of course, I'd like to be calling myself a two-time All-Star
right now, but sometimes it's a popularity contest," said Estrada,
an All-Star with Atlanta in 2004. "I enjoyed the days off with my
It was a costly victory for the Diamondbacks, who lost shortstop
and leadoff man Craig Counsell for three to six weeks with a broken right
The Diamondbacks worried that the All-Star break might disrupt
the momentum they established in a three-game sweep at Colorado
last weekend. And for 8½ innings, Arizona played sluggishly and
appeared headed for its 15th loss in 17 games at Chase Field.
But that all changed in a heartbeat. After Luis Gonzalez greeted
Turnbow with a double off the right field wall, Estrada belted
Turnbow's next delivery 392 feet into the seats in right field for
his seventh homer of the season.
"I was watching him pitch to Gonzo, and he was blowing up the
radar gun, throwing 97, 98 (mph)," Estrada said. "Gonzo leads off
with a double, I'm just trying to pull something to the right side
to get him to third so we have a chance to tie at least."
Estrada said he had one previous walk-off homer, as a
Philadelphia rookie against Florida on Sept. 23, 2001.
It was Turnbow's seventh blown save in 30 chances and cost the
Brewers their fourth straight loss.
"It's just brutal," Turnbow (4-5) said. "Tonight was probably
the best I've felt in a long time and it still didn't go my way, so
I've just got to be better. That's the bottom line. It stinks
costing the team wins."
Turnbow threw four pitches. Two were balls. One was hit off the
wall and the other into the bleachers.
"It's kind of glaring because it's the first game back after
the break, and it happened quick," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost
Gonzalez and Estrada both said they were sitting on Turnbow's
fastball, which is intimidating but clearly not unhittable.
"He definitely needs to find a way to command his pitches
better," Yost said. "He never really got in a position when he
could use his breaking ball."
Reliever Brandon Medders (3-2) worked two innings for the win,
retiring all six men he faced. Medders inherited a runner at second
with no outs in the eighth but pitched out of the jam, keeping the
Diamondbacks within striking distance.
"He was the MVP of the game," Estrada said. "He came in and
was lights out for two innings and gave us a chance to win."
Counsell was injured swinging in the seventh inning. Arizona
manager Bob Melvin the Diamondbacks would fill Counsell's roster
spot with shortstop Stephen Drew, their first-round pick in the
2004 draft. Drew is hitting .284 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI in
83 games at Triple-A Tucson.
Although Drew is considered a big part of Arizona's future,
several Diamondbacks said they would miss Counsell's veteran
"That's a big blow for us," Gonzalez said. "Counsell does so
many little things for us. You don't replace a guy like that."
Counsell did a lot of little things Friday night. In the first
inning, he scored the game's first run after drawing a leadoff
walk. In the fourth, Counsell picked up Damian Miller's bouncer and
threw out Prince Fielder at the plate. In the fifth, Counsell
singled to drive in Arizona's second run.
Losing Counsell might make it tougher for the Diamondbacks to
contend for a playoff berth. But Friday night's dramatic victory
seemed like a good omen for a team that has had precious few of
those in the last six weeks.
"This is a great way to start the second half," Estrada said.
"I think the four days off did this team some good. We needed to
get away for a little bit and get hungry again. This is a great way
to hopefully catapult us forward."
Before the game, Arizona announced that it had extended
Melvin's contract two years, through 2008, with a club option for
2009. ... The Brewers came into the game tied for third in the NL
Central, 5½ games behind St. Louis. It was the closest Milwaukee
has been to first place at the All-Star break since joining the NL
in 1998. ... Arizona's Miguel Batista threw two wild pitches to
take over the league lead with 11. ... Estrada's single in the
sixth stretched his hitting streak to nine games, tying a career
high. ... Counsell had an 0-2 count when he left the game in the
seventh inning. Damion Easley pinch hit for Counsell and bounced to