Sedona Red Recap: RHP Zack Godley lifts D-backs to win over Tigers
PHOENIX — It’s hard to win when you don’t score.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had not won in their last three games, scoring a total of six runs.
They plated seven to beat the Detroit Tigers, 7-1, and earn a split of the two-game interleague series on Wednesday.
The 18,897 in attendance at Chase Field were treated to an 11-hit attack by Arizona, including a trio of home runs. Nick Ahmed homered in the third, while Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury went back-to-back in the seventh inning.
Just for good measure, A.J. Pollock had two RBI.
It was more than enough run support for D-backs starting pitcher Zack Godley.
Given a second chance at landing the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, Godley (1-0) pitched seven strong innings. He allowed the one run — a James McCann RBI single — on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
During one stretch, he retired 11 in a row.
Godley threw just 88 pitches, three times inducing the double-play ball.
The three-game losing streak had matched a season-high as the D-backs avoided dropping their fourth straight series.
Not until the D-backs’ seventh batter was a ball hit out of the infield. And it was hit out of the ballpark. Ahmed turned on an 0-1 fastball, clocked at 92 mph, and deposited the baseball into the D-backs’ bullpen in left field. It was Ahmed’s second home run of the season, his first in 16 games, and more importantly, it tied the game 1-1 with one out in the third inning.
Twice in the first three innings, the defense bailed Godley out of jams, or at least potential jams. In the second, with a run already in and the bases loaded, Jake Lamb started an inning-ending double play. Then in the third, after the leadoff batter singled, Paul Goldschmidt and the D-backs turned the never-easy 3-6-1 double play, and just like that, the threat was gone.
With the bases loaded, two outs and behind in the count 0-2, Pollock reached down and stroked an 87-mph slider into left field for a two-run single to give the D-backs a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning. Prior to the Pollock at-bat, Godley coaxed a six-pitch walk out of Boyd to load the bases. Pollock finished 2-for-5 and is now batting .321 (18-for-56) over his last 14 games.
For the third time this season, the D-backs hit back-to-back home runs. It happened in the seventh inning. With one out, Tomas ripped a two-run homer, scoring Goldschmidt who had led off the frame with a walk, and then Drury followed with a solo shot. For Tomas, it was his seventh, tying him with Goldschmidt and Lamb for team-high honors. Drury’s was his second.
After three straight strikeouts spanning the first and second innings, Godley allowed three straight one-out singles, the latter of which plated the game’s first run. McCann grounded a ball through the hole on the left side to put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the second inning. McCann’s single followed a base hit by Jim Adduci that had an exit velocity of 108.1 mph, which Ahmed was unable to handle.
Facing a fellow Seattle native and high school rival, Lamb struck out twice and grounded out in his three at-bats against starter Matthew Boyd. He went down swinging on three pitches in the second, grounded out to second base in the third and then took a called third strike in the fifth inning. That third at-bat was costly as the D-backs had runners on first and second in a game that was 2-1 at the time.
STAT OF THE GAME
10: D-backs pitchers tied the Major League record with their ninth straight home game with 10+ strikeouts
HE SAID IT
“On a night when we needed somebody to step up, Zack Godley did a great job for us. Seven outstanding innings, six strikeouts, one run; what more could you ask for?” manager Torey Lovullo said.
– Godley threw a first-pitch strike to 16-of-23 batters faced and never threw more than 17 pitches in an inning.
– Drury went 2-for-4, recording his fourth straight two-hit game at home and his 10th overall this season.
– Drury has reached base safely in 29 of his last 30 home games in which he’s batting .469 (53-for-113).
– Goldschmidt went 1-for-2 with a trio of walks and is now batting .385 (25-for-65) over his last 19 games.
– Goldschmidt has reached base safely in 22 straight home games, the second-longest streak of his career.
– With a first-pitch temperature of 80 degrees, the game was played with the roof open yet panels closed.
The homestand continues with a visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The four-game series opens with a pair of right-handers, Zack Greinke and Gerrit Cole, taking the mound in game one on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Greinke (3-2) is coming off a win in Colorado in which he held the Rockies to two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings. It was his fourth straight quality start.
In 10 career appearances against the Pirates, Greinke is 6-3 with a 5.04 ERA.
Meanwhile, Cole enters the matchup winless over his last four outings. His 0-2 record with two no-decisions is misleading, however, given the 1.73 ERA, .163 opponent’s batting average and 31 strikeouts covering 26.0 innings of work.
Cole has never faced the D-backs.