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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs’ offense goes wild in win over Strasburg, Nationals

A night after their most lopsided loss of the season, the Arizona Diamondbacks took out their frustrations on 26-year-old Stephen Strasburg.

The D-backs scored eight runs off the Washington Nationals starter on their way to a 14-6 series-evening win Tuesday in front of an announced crowd of 19,053 at Chase Field.

The 14 runs established a new season high.

Mark Trumbo homered twice and drove in four runs. Ender Inciarte hit a solo home run and added three RBI.

Both went deep against Strasburg (2-4), who was pulled after 3.1 innings. The eight runs he allowed were a career high, while the seven earned runs tied a career high.

Strasburg was pitching on six days rest. The extra day was due to him leaving his last start because of back tightness.

Aaron Hill and Tuffy Gosewisch each had two RBI. Hill, David Peralta and Chris Owings all recorded three hits.

The D-backs finished with 16 hits and scored in five of the first six innings, including a five-run fourth and a four-run sixth.

Rubby De La Rosa (4-2) benefited from all the run support, earning his second straight win.

Making his first career start against the Nationals, De La Rosa went seven innings and allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He also collected his first career RBI.

The victory ended the D-backs’ six-game losing streak against the Nationals, who saw their five-game overall streak snapped.

THE GOOD

Instincts and maybe a little luck helped the D-backs in the first inning. After a leadoff single by Denard Span, Yunel Escobar ripped a 1-0 slider back up the middle. The ball appeared to be headed towards center field for a base hit until De La Rosa stuck out his glove, deflecting its path to Owings, who then assisted in the unconventional 1-4-6-3 double play.

The good fortune continued in the home half of the first. With two outs, Hill hit a 96-mph fastball into the gap in right-center field for a double, scoring Paul Goldschmidt (walk) and Peralta (single) with the first runs of the game to give the D-backs their first lead in the series. Hill finished 3-for-5 and is now batting .455 (15-for-33) with nine RBI in his last 11 games.

Last season, it took Inciarte 47 games before he hit his first home run. This season he needed 32, as he lifted a 95-mph fastball high into the air and over the right field fence. The third-inning leadoff homer gave the D-backs a 3-1 lead. Inciarte finished 1-for-3 with a pair of sacrifice flies and has now reached base safely in 17 of 19 home games (.304, 21-for-69).

The five-run fourth tied a D-backs season-high for most runs in a single inning. Trumbo’s three-run home run highlighted the offensive explosion. The ball hit off the facing of the second deck below Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill in left field, measuring in at 451-feet from home plate. It gave the D-backs an 8-2 lead.

Two innings later, the D-backs tacked on four more runs for a 14-4 advantage. And again it was Trumbo providing the lumber. He led off the sixth with a solo shot to left field, giving him his sixth career multi-homer game. Trumbo has four home runs in his last six games and is batting .333 (7-for-21) with four homers and eight RBI in five games from the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

While Nick Ahmed’s defense has been stellar — 22 straight errorless games — his offense has been lacking. But on this night, when the D-backs collected 16 hits, Ahmed had two, snapping a four-game hitless drought. He singled in the fourth, which drove in a run, and in the sixth. His first two-hit game since April 16 raised his batting average 20 points to .150.

Each of Peralta’s two singles landed in left field, marking the ninth and tenth opposite-field hits of his career. It’s the first time he had recorded multiple opposite-field hits in one game. Peralta finished 3-for-5 and is now batting .366 (15-for-41) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI in his last 13 games.

With three hits in five at-bats, Owings raised his batting average 18 points to .239. He’s hit safely in five of his last six games (.346, 9-for-26) and in 12 of his last 14 home games (.316, 18-for-57).

THE BAD

Scary sight: Home plate umpire Kerwin Danley left the game in the bottom of the second inning after being hit square in the face mask by a foul ball off the bat of Ahmed. The force of the blow knocked Danley backwards several feet towards the screen. He was immediately attended to by D-backs trainer Ken Crenshaw before eventually leaving the field. Gabe Morales replaced Danley, who was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center where a CT scan was negative but he did show concussion symptoms, and the remainer of the game was umpired by a three-man crew. The delay lasted nearly 10 minutes.

All good things must come to an end. De La Rosa saw his career-high 12-inning scoreless streak snapped in the third inning. Span’s second hit in as many at-bats, a double to left field, scored Danny Espinosa who had led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. Three times in the first four innings the Nationals got the leadoff hitter aboard. Bryce Harper doubled and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s single to center in the fourth.

Loud cheers erupted from a section just behind the Nationals dugout when reliever Sammy Solis hit a one-out single to center in the fifth inning. It was his first big league hit and it came in front of several family and friends. Solis is from Avondale, having graduated from Agua Fria High School. He was actually drafted by the D-backs in the 18th round of the 2007 MLB draft, but chose instead to go to college at the University of San Diego.

The D-backs ran themselves out of the inning in the fifth. With two outs and Trumbo batting, Ahmed broke for home after the ball bounced away from the catcher. It didn’t go far enough, however. Ahmed attempted to retreat to third base, but got caught in a rundown and was tagged out 2-5-2 for the third out.

The D-backs kept Harper in the ballpark in the series opener, but not in game two. With a runner on first in the sixth inning, the reigning National League Player of the Week slugged a 2-2 offering into the seats in right field for his league-leading 12th home run of the season, which made it 10-4. Harper is batting .564 (13-for-23) with one double, seven home runs and 16 RBI over his last six games

Down to his last at-bat, Wilson Ramos led off the ninth inning with a sharp single to center to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games. It’s the longest hitting streak by a Nationals player this season.

STAT OF THE GAME

14: The number of D-backs runs, two more than they had scored in their previous four games combined; and the most since Aug. 9, 2014, against the Colorado Rockies (also 14) and most-ever scored against the Nationals

HE SAID IT

“I think it was kind of exactly what we needed maybe, after last night,” Trumbo said. “You can’t expect to score 10, but especially early on, we made some stuff happen, and that’s kind of what we were looking to do, at least.”

NOTED

• De La Rosa has received 24 runs of support in his last two starts.

• Though he reached base twice via walks, Goldschmidt was the lone starter not to record a hit.

• On this date in 1998, D-backs assistant hitting coach Mark Grace, then playing with the Chicago Cubs, hit the first home run into the Chase Field pool.

• Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson spent the day at Chase Field, taking batting practice, shagging fly balls, announcing the D-backs starting lineup and then finally throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

UP NEXT

How about some mid-week day baseball?

The series and homestand concludes with a matinee game on Wednesday, May 13. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

It’s right-hander Jeremy Hellickson’s turn in the D-backs rotation.

Making his first-ever appearance against the Nationals, Hellickson (1-3) will look to snap a three-start winless drought in which he’s given up 12 earned runs in 14.2 innings for a 7.36 ERA. In none of those starts did he complete six innings of work.

The Nationals, meanwhile, counter with Gio Gonzalez (3-2).

The lefty is a on a two-start winning streak, allowing only two total runs over 14 innings. Only once in six outings this season has he pitched less than six innings.

Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings covering three career starts against the D-backs.