Gregorius' laser denies Tribe inside-the-park HR
D-backs shortstop nails Kipnis at plate in 13th inning to keep game tied
PHOENIX -- It looked like it would spell disaster for the D-backs.
Instead, the play will almost surely make the end-of-season highlight reel after their walk-off, 9-8 win in 14 innings Tuesday night.
With two outs in the top of the 13th, Jason Kipnis hit a deep drive to center field. Ender Inciarte went back on the ball and it hit off the wall and kicked away from him.
As Kipnis sped around the bases, Inciarte picked up the ball and hit the cutoff man -- shortstop Didi Gregorius -- who turned and fired a strike to catcher Miguel Montero at home plate to easily nail Kipnis and end the inning.
"Ender did a heck of a job on that ball to the wall," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's a lonely feeling and he got on his horse and he took his time and made a great throw to Didi. We talk about that all time, not rushing in situations like that you get the ball at the wall and take your time. You've got to make a good throw and that sets up the good throw from the shortstop and Didi just threw a bullet in there."
Inciarte realized just before he got to the wall that he had no chance on the ball and then he focused on trying to pick up the ball cleanly and give Gregorius a clean throw.
"Didi made a perfect throw to home plate," Inciarte said. "It was a good relay."
Montero said he thought Gregorius threw the ball about "100 mph."
While Kipnis was thrown out on the play, Indians manager Terry Francona agreed with third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh's decision to send Kipnis.
"I thought it was good baserunning, I thought it was good coaching," Francona said. "And then an even better play. That was a really good throw. Two outs, you got to go. I was yelling the whole way, even when he was out."
Gregorius credited Inciarte for the way he got to the ball to him. Then he had to get rid of the ball quickly without rushing.
"That's the main thing -- make sure you get a good grip quick and try to throw a strike to the plate," Gregorius said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.