Nick Burdi's combination of grit and resilience — oh and a fastball that can touch triple digits — helped the Pittsburgh Pirates reliever carve out a spot in the big leagues less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right arm.
But one innocent-looking pitch to Arizona's Jarrod Dyson on Monday night likely signaled another abrupt turn in Burdi's roller coaster career.
The 26-year-old, a former Twins prospect who found traction in Pittsburgh, threw a 96 mph fastball to Dyson in the eighth inning, then crumpled to the ground before clutching his right arm while tears filled his eyes. He wept while teammates tried to console him on the mound.
Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Burdi was dealing with pain in his biceps and elbow, but it was too early for a diagnosis.
"It just takes the breath right out of you," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
The Diamondbacks won 12-4 for their major league-leading ninth comeback victory.
Burdi had struck out 17 over 8 ⅓ innings before Monday after making the Pirates out of spring training. Christian Walker touched him for a two-run home run in Arizona's seven-run seventh inning, and Burdi gave up three straight singles to start the eighth before his second pitch to Dyson altered the trajectory of Burdi's season, if not his career.
"It's awful," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "We're competitors up until something like that happens. We're all in the same family. You hate to see anything like that happen. The way he went down, you're just hoping for the absolute best."
Burdi was drafted out of Louisville by the Twins in the second round in 2014. But he never pitched higher than Class AA for the Twins and was out of the organization by 2017, largely due to arm trouble.
St. Louis 13, Milwaukee 5: Dexter Fowler had four hits, including his first home run of the season, and four RBI for the host Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt hit his ninth home run and had three hits and three RBI for St. Louis, which outhit the Brewers 18-5. The four-hit game was the fifth of Fowler's career and his first since June 9, 2013.
Colorado 7, Washington 5: Nolan Arenado hit a tiebreaking homer for his 1,000th career hit and the host Rockies rallied to beat the Nationals. Arenado also doubled twice and drove in two to help Colorado win for the seventh time in eight games. Brian Dozier homered for the third time in four games for Washington.
New York 5, Philadelphia 1: Steven Matz atoned for a dismal start last week in Philadelphia by pitching six strong innings for the host Mets.
Chicago 12, Baltimore 2: Jose Abreu homered and drove in five runs, and James McCann had a homer and four RBI for the White Sox. The Orioles fell to 1-10 at home and drew just 8,555 — their fifth crowd under 10,000 this season. Catcher Jesus Sucre pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for Baltimore.
Tampa Bay 6, Kansas City 3: The host Rays ended a season-high four-game losing streak. The Royals lost their ninth game this season when leading in the sixth inning or beyond.
• The Tigers and Red Sox will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday at Fenway Park after their scheduled game on Monday was rained out.
• Veteran lefthander Gio Gonzalez was released from his minor league contract with the Yankees.
• The Yankees agreed to a minor league contract with 29-year-old infielder Brad Miller, who was designated for assignment by the Indians on April 15.
• Cardinals righthander Michael Wacha was placed on the 10-day injured list because of patellar tendinitis in his left knee.
• Rockies lefthander Kyle Freeland was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
• Third baseman Todd Frazier made his season debut for the Mets on Monday after being activated from the injured list.
• An MRI came back clean on Jacob deGrom's right elbow, meaning the Mets ace remains on track to start Friday night.