PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have given Trevor Cahill plenty of chances and support this season. What they haven’t given him is much run support, until Saturday.
Cahill’s new best friend in the clubhouse has to be Mark Trumbo, as the D-backs almost scored as many touchdowns as the Cardinals did in their preseason game, crushing the Rockies 14-4.
“We’re happy when we win as a team, and Trevor’s worked hard, we’ve believed in him, we’ve taken an interesting path with him,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said about Cahill. “Give him some credit for agreeing to go down to the minor leagues and being open to suggestions. You’ve seen him come back and he’s thrown the ball better every time. It’s always good when you’re players make the change and they’re awarded for it.”
With one swing of the bat in the third inning courtesy of Trumbo, Cahill earned his first victory as a starter this season. Trumbo roped a three-run homer to left field to give the D-backs a 4-3 lead. It was the first “Trumbomb” D-backs fans have seen since April 21.
“It’s kind of part of my game, so I’m well aware if it’s not happening as frequent as I probably would like,” said Trumbo. “If I’m contributing in some ways, then it’s something I don’t dwell on at all, but at the same time you are aware that it hasn’t happened in a while.”
Run support has been missing in action when Cahill has taken the mound.
In his previous eight starts, Cahill is 0-6 with a 6.35 ERA and received a combined nine runs of support. The D-backs destroyed that in just eight innings, leaving Cahill feeling like he is close to his old self.
“It feels good, anytime the team wins and I’m pitching it’s a good day,” Cahill said. “Being back in the bullpen and then working my way back to a starter, it was tough.”
After giving up three runs (one unearned) in the first three innings against the Rockies, Cahill cruised, retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he faced. Cahill had the stuff Gibson was hoping to see all season long, albeit against the Rockies. He struck out seven, only surrendering four hits in seven innings.
Cahill threw a total of 105 pitches, 65 of them went for strikes.
With Cahill’s departure came a little more breathing room and a little sigh of relief for him. Alfredo Marte, who is not known for his power, destroyed a 3-2 pitch to left field. It was only the third homer of Marte’s career.
But then in the eighth Cahill suddenly felt a punch to the gut when Brad Ziegler gave up a solo shot to Nolan Arenado. Ziegler had fooled Arenado on a previous pitch in the at bat, making him swing way out in front of it. Two pitches later Arenado blasted it over the left field fence cutting the D-backs’ lead to one. Ziegler gave up another hit and then made Drew Stubbs ground into an inning-ending double play.
All that angst for Cahill completely disappeared in the home half of the eighth when the D-backs added nine insurance runs. Peralta punctuated the night with his first career grand slam. The D-backs polished off the Rockies with nine runs and eight hits in the inning. Trumbo enjoyed every minute of it including watching Peralta swing that “smoking” bat of his.
“It’s smoking, he’s a great player obviously, he’s a got real knack for finding the barrel at the plate,” Trumbo said. “He hits the ball as hard as anyone I’ve seen, and it’s great to see somebody have success this early on in their major league career.”
The D-backs wish they could have played the Rockies more this season. Saturday’s win is the D-backs sixth straight over the Rockies.
The Rockies have lost 21 of their last 23 road games. That’s not good, that’s great for the D-backs who will go for the sweep on Sunday.
In the seventh inning it was the Marte show. He made a sensational sliding catch in left field sending Charlie Blackmon back to the dugout in disgust. Then in the bottom of the inning he slammed a full count offering from Tommy Kahnle into the left field stands. It was just the second homer of the season for Marte.
The night was punctuated by the D-backs scoring nine runs in the eighth inning capped by Peralta’s grand slam. It’s just the third time this season the D-Backs have scored that many runs in an inning.
It’s hard to pick out anything bad when 14 runs on 15 hits are on display, but the stickler that I am I did find one thing.
Brad Ziegler came on in relief in the eighth inning and gave up a solo homer to Arenado. That’s all!
STAT OF THE GAME:
1: Cahill wins his “first” game as a starter this season. It was also Cahill’s “first” win since April 23. And it was Cahill’s “first” start against an NL West opponent this season. His six previous appearances against the division have all been in relief. And for good measure Peralta raked out his “first” career grand slam in the eighth inning.
HE SAID IT:
Trumbo on Peralta’s swing:
“It’s smoking, he’s a great player obviously, he’s a got real knack for finding the barrel at the plate. Hits the ball as hard as anyone I’ve seen, and it’s great to see somebody have success this early on in their major league career.”
• Trumbo’s three-run homer was his first since April 21 and his first blast in 80 at bats.
• With the win Cahill snaps the ugliest streak of his career. Before the 10-run victory, Cahill was winless in a career-high 16 consecutive appearances.
• Cahill has held opponents to three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts.
• Peralta’s historic at bat: His grand slam in the eighth inning marked his 67th hit through his first 56 games, breaking Stephen Drew’s club record.
• The D-backs will go for just their third sweep of the season and their second against the Rockies.
Bring out the brooms!
A Sunday matinee feature will see Wade Miley take the mound in search of his eighth win of the season. This will be Miley’s 25th start this year. In Miley’s last outing on August fifth versus the Royals he got hammered for 10 runs in just 4.2 innings pitched. However, Miley is 4-1 in his last five home starts and 7-1 against the Rockies in 10 career starts.
The Rockies will counter with Frank Morales, who has a losing record of 5-6 on the season. In the last 10 games that Morales has started for the Rockies, the team has lost nine of those games.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. and the action can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.