"It's huge," Melvin said. "That's the kind of guy he is. His stuff is good, and it seems to elevate when he needs to make a pitch. The velocity will go up, the tenacity of each pitch will be a little bit better. That's just the way he is, that's just the way he's built, and it showed up that [third] inning, big time."Owings struggled thereafter, allowing four runs on seven hits in the final 1 2/3 frames of his outing. The four earned runs he allowed in 5 2/3 innings marked only the second time he has given up that many this season. Still, with the offense's support, Owings (5-1) earned the victory. "I'm just trying to keep the team in a position to win the game," Owings said. "I felt real good out of the chute, fresh early on, and then not as sharp toward the end as I would have liked to have been." When Owings departed with a 6-4 lead, the bullpen shut the door for the second straight game. A day after the bullpen held Tampa Bay hitless over the final five innings to allow an Arizona comeback to materialize, the bullpen gave up one hit over the final 3 1/3 innings to prevent a similar Devil Rays comeback from six down. Setup men Tony Pena and Brandon Lyon were in the middle of it for the second straight game, combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings a day after throwing three perfect innings of relief together. "Those guys are huge for us," Melvin said. "We feel like if we can get the ball in those guys' hands leading up to [Jose] Valverde, we have a good chance to win." Valverde finished the game off with his 23rd save in 26 chances. The save tied Matt Mantei's all-time franchise record with 74 for his D-backs career. At the end of the day, Arizona found a way to take another series and win five of six overall against American League East teams, after losing five of six to New York and Boston to start Interleague Play. Melvin attributed that in part to doing a better job grinding out at-bats to make the pitcher work harder. "All those things end up being factors when you get deeper in the game," Melvin said. "That's what the Yankees do, that's what the Red Sox do. It may not show up in the early innings, but at the end it ends up showing up, and that's the type of team we envision being, and I think we're working toward that."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.