The Arizona Diamondbacks are heading to the National League Division Series.
The Diamondbacks held on to beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in a heart-stopping matchup in Phoenix on Wednesday night to win the National League Wild Card game. Former Cy Young Award winner Zack Grienke started for the Diamondbacks against Colorado's Jon Gray, but both pitchers combined for only five innings pitched in a crazy contest that saw Arizona jump out to a six-run lead early on before the Rockies closed the deficit to one on two occasions in the late innings.
A career .098 hitter coming into the game, Arizona reliever Archie Bradley laced his first career extra-base hit, a two-run triple, into the left-center gap off Rockies All-Star Pat Neshek to give the D-backs an 8-5 lead in the seventh inning.
But Bradley went out to the mound in the eighth and gave up back-to-back solo home runs to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. He later allowed a two-out double to Pat Valaika to put the tying run at second base before settling down and inducing a flyout from Jonathan Lucroy, who'd reach base in his previous three plate appearances, to end the threat.
The Snakes then added three insurance runs in the bottom of the frame before Colorado eked out one in the ninth against Fernando Rodney, who closed it down to ensure the Diamondbacks advanced to the National League Division Series for the first time since 2011.
The fate of each MLB Wild Card team since 1995
The fate of each MLB Wild Card team since 1995
2016 San Francisco Giants: Lost Division Series to Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
2016 Toronto Blue Jays: Lost Championship Series to Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
2015 Houston Astros: Lost Division Series to Kansas City Royals
Luke Gregerson #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates defeating the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2015 in New York City. The Astros defeated the Yankees with a score of 3 to 0. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
2014 San Francisco Giants: Won World Series over Kansas City Royals
The San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35), Buster Posey, right, and Pablo Sandoval celebrate at home after Gregor Blanco bunted Crawford home in the tenth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The Giants won, 5-4, for a 2-1 series lead. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
2014 Kansas City Royals: Lost World Series to San Francisco Giants
The Kansas City Royals celebrate their 2 to 1 win over the Baltimore Orioles to sweep the series in Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 15, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
2006 Detroit Tigers: Lost World Series to St. Louis Cardinals
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Infielder Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers looks back for the baseball after an errant throw from Justin Verlander during the fourth inning of Game Five of the 2006 World Series on October 27, 2006 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
2006 Los Angeles Dodgers: Lost Division Series to New York Mets
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Shortstop Rafael Furcal #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers turns a double play as Endy Chavez #10 of the New York Mets slides into second in the eighth inning during Game Three of the National League Division Series on October 7, 2006 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
2005 Houston Astros: Lost World Series to Chicago White Sox
HOUSTON - OCTOBER 25: Scott Podsednik of the Chicago White Sox steals second base as Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros applies a late tag during the eleventh inning of Game Three of the Major League Baseball World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 25, 2005 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by John Grieshop/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
2005 Boston Red Sox: Lost Division Series to Chicago White Sox
BOSTON - OCTOBER 7: Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek can't handle the throw home as Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski scores in the ninth inning on a Juan Uribe squeeze bunt at Fenway Park. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
2004 Houston Astros: Lost Championship Series to St. Louis Cardinals
HOUSTON - OCTOBER 18: Carlos Beltran #15 of the Houston Astros shows that his has the ball in his glove after a diving catch in game five of National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2004 Major League Baseball Playoffs on October 18, 2004 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Cardinals 3-0 to take a 3-2 game lead. (Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2003 Florida Marlins: Won World Series over New York Yankees
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: Ecstatic Florida Marlins celebrate after shutting out the New York Yankees, 2-0, in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium to win the World Series. (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
2001 St. Louis Cardinals: Lost Division Series to Arizona Diamondbacks
PHOENIX, UNITED STATES: St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols (L) is calmed down by manager Tony La Russa after striking out against Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson in the sixth inning during game two of the National League western division playoffs 10 October 2001 in Phoenix. The Cardinals won 4-1. AFP Photo/Scott ROVAK (Photo credit should read SCOTT ROVAK/AFP/Getty Images)
2000 New York Mets: Lost World Series to New York Yankees
FLUSHING, NY - OCTOBER 24: Mike Piazza of the New York Mets stands on second base during Game Three of the World Series against the New York Yankees on October 24, 2000 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)
1999 Boston Red Sox: Lost Championship Series to New York Yankees
BOSTON, : Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams (L), first base coach Dave Jauss and Jose Offerman argue a call with second base umpire Tim Scchida (R) 17 October, 1999, in the 8th inning of game four of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. Offerman was called out at second and was apparently not tagged. The Yankees lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/JEFF HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
1998 Boston Red Sox: Lost Division Series to Cleveland Indians
BOSTON, : Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (C) celebrates with team members after beating Tampa Bay 4-3 in the first game of a double-header 21 September at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
1997 New York Yankees: Lost Division Series to Cleveland Indians
4 Oct 1997: Infielders Charlie Hayes and Tino Martinez of the New York Yankees celebrate during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Yankees won the game, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
1997 Florida Marlins: Won World Series over Cleveland Indians
MIAMI, : Florida Marlins player Edgar Renteria (C) celebrates his game-winning hit against the Cleveland Indians with teammates Antionio Alfoseca (L) and Jeff Conine 26 October after game seven of the World Series at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, FL. The Marlins beat the Indians 3-2 in 11 innings to win the World Series. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
1996 Baltimore Orioles: Lost Championship Series to New York Yankees
BALTIMORE, : Baltimore Orioles Brady Anderson (R) congratulates teammate Todd Zeile at home plate after Zeile's two-run homer in the 1st inning of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards 11 October. The series is tied 1-1. AFP PHOTO Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
1996 Los Angeles Dodgers: Lost Division Series to Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA, UNITED STATES: Atlanta Braves Javy Lopez(R) tags out Los Angeles Dodgers Tod Hollandsworth(C) homeplate umpire Andree Demuth(L) waits to make the call during the National League Divisional Playoff game 05 October in Atlanta, Ga. The Braves won 5-2, sweeping the Dodgers and winning their division. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
1995 Colorado Rockies: Lost Division Series to Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA, UNITED STATES: Colorado Rockies Eric Young is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a two run home-run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves 06 October during their National League Divisional Playoff game at Fulton County Stadium, in Atlanta, Georgia. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
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Arizona had opened up a six-run lead by the third inning by battering Gray, who didn't get out of the second inning against Arizona's vaunted lineup. The D-backs plated three runs against Gray before the 25-year-old recorded an out, thanks to a monstrous three-run homer from Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Gray escaped the opening frame without further damage, but after Diamondbacks shortstop Ketel Marte tripled in the second inning to bring home David Peralta, Rockies manager Bud Black pulled Gray with Colorado down 4-0 after four outs. A two-run shot from Daniel Descalso in the third inning extended Arizona's lead to six runs.
That would normally be more than enough to work with for Greinke, but Arizona's ace completely fell apart in the fourth. The Rockies drove in runs on four consecutive at-bats, with pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista's line-drive single up the middle making it 6-4 to signal the end for Greinke. It was the shortest postseason start of his career.
However, the Snakes clung to the lead behind No. 2 starter Robbie Ray, who made his first relief appearance since 2014 and hurled 2.1 innings of one-run ball. The final innings certainly weren't without their drama, but Arizona led throughout it all to survive.
Major League Baseball expanded to two Wild Card teams in each league in 2012, prompting the creation of the one-game Wild Card playoff for the right to play in the Division Series. Arizona will now move on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.