Zack Godley celebrates birthday with win, D-backs top San Diego
PHOENIX, Ariz. — One hit. One RBI. One win.
It was quite the haul of birthday gifts for Zack Godley, who turned 28 on Saturday.
He did it all, just about, in helping lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to their 14th win of the season, tied for the most in the National League.
Godley pitched well, and handled the bat well, unexpectedly.
Let’s start with the offense first.
Godley joined four of his teammates — Daniel Descalso, Paul Goldschmidt, Deven Marrero and A.J. Pollock — in driving in runs as the D-backs scored six unanswered runs to top the San Diego Padres, 6-2, evening the three-game series at a game apiece, in front of an announced crowd of 38,820 at Chase Field.
Pollock had two RBI.
“Hits are great, I mean, but I am a pitcher so it’s one of those things where you get real happy about them when they happen,” Godley said.
Now the pitching.
A high pitch-count — he threw 94, 57 for strikes — limited Godley to 5.1 innings.
It was a rough start, at least initially. The Padres tagged Godley for two runs on three hits in the first inning, and then they got nothing. He shutout San Diego the next four-plus frames.
Overall, Godley allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out eight, one short of a season-high.
After Godley exited, Andrew Chafin, Fernando Salas and T.J. McFarland combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, with McFarland pitching both the eighth and ninth innings.
With the victory, the D-backs put themselves in position to win an eighth straight series to open the season.
It’s called helping himself out, and that’s exactly what Godley did in the second inning. With two outs and one run already in thanks to Marrero’s RBI triple, Godley grounded a ball up the middle, just out of the reach of the shortstop, and into center field to plate Marrero, tying the game at 2. It was Godley’s first hit and first RBI of the season, and just the sixth hit and third RBI of his career.
Back in the lineup after missing one game due to a jammed right hand, Pollock hit an opposite field go-ahead home run with two outs in the third inning. He lifted a 1-2 pitch — a slider clocked at 82.3 mph — from Richard high and over the fence in right field for what was his fifth homer of the season and second of the homestand. It was the third straight run scored by the D-backs, who took a 3-2 lead.
Clutch. With two outs in the sixth inning, Descalso lined a pinch-hit (batted for Chafin) single into center field to score Marrero from second base, thus extending the D-backs’ lead to 4-2. Descalso, who entered the game with just one hit on the homestand, jumped on an 0-1 sinker — clocked at 88.8 mph — to record his seventh RBI of the season.
Because one RBI wasn’t enough, Pollock added a second with a run-scoring single in the seventh inning. He plated Goldschmidt, who tripled in the at-bat prior which brought in the first run (Ketel Marte) of the inning. Between Goldschmidt and Pollock, the D-backs’ three and four hitters, respectively, the pair totaled four hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
One night after hitting the video board with a 498-foot home run, Franchy Cordero banged a ball off the batter’s eye in straightaway center field, narrowly missing a home run. He golfed Godley’s 2-2 curveball for a double, driving in a pair of two-out runs in the first inning. Cordero has now hit safely in six of his past eight games and in seven of his 10 total games played this season.
All streaks must come to an end eventually, and for David Peralta it was Saturday. For the first time this season he did not reach base safely either via a hit or a walk. He went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. The 16-game on-base streak was tied for second-longest in the Majors this season, with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon behind Philadelphia’s Odubel Herrera (17).
STAT OF THE GAME
4-for-7: The D-backs batted .571 with runners in scoring position, and twice drove a runner in from third with less than two outs
HE SAID IT
“It was just a really good bounce-back win, with the frustrating loss yesterday; and it’s one of the characteristics that this team walks around with every single day,” manager Torey Lovullo said, alluding to the fact the D-backs have not lost back-to-back games yet this season.
Godley threw a first-pitch strike to 11 of the 22 batters he faced, in addition, he reached a 3-ball count a total of four times.
Godley became the ninth pitcher since 1996 to record a RBI on their birthday; the last to do so was Patrick Corbin in 2015.
Marrero’s second-inning triple was the first of his big-league career as he hustled 270-feet on a ball hit into right-center field.
Pollock now has eight extra-base hits (14 total) at Chase Field; broken down that’s five doubles, one triple and two home runs.
Goldschmidt now has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games at a .375 clip (15-for-40) with four home runs, 9 RBI and four walks.
With a first-pitch temperature of 87 degrees, the game began with the roof and panels closed; they opened after the third inning.
The first 20,000 fans received an Archie Bradley audio bobblehead, commemorating Bradley’s triple in last season’s Wild Card game.
The series and homestand concludes with a battle of undefeated left-handers.
Patrick Corbin and Joey Lucchesi take the mound for Game 3 on Sunday, April 22. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Corbin (3-0) is undefeated in four starts, including his first career shutout, a one-hitter after holding the Giants hitless for the first 7.2 innings, in his most recent outing. He’s struck out 37, and walked five, in 27.1 innings.
This will be Corbin’s 12th career start against the Padres.
Like Corbin, Lucchesi (2-0) is undefeated in four starts. He leads all rookies in ERA (1.66), strikeouts (25), innings pitched (22.2) and opponent on-base percentage (.253), and he’s second in opponent average (.221).
Lucchesi earned his second straight win in his last outing, beating the Giants with six innings of one-run ball on five hits while striking out a career-high nine and walking none.