D-backs offense wakes from slumber, drops 9 runs on Pirates in win
PHOENIX — In a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies from May 3-5, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored 26 runs.
Since that series prior to Tuesday night, the D-backs mustered only 18 runs over seven games, including 11 in four against the Atlanta Braves.
Fortunately, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona’s offense woke up and scored nine runs in a 9-3 win to snap a three-game losing streak.
“We had a few games over the weekend that were tough losses but these guys came out and slugged it out and played a really, really good game,” manager Torey Lovullo said of the win.
The D-backs scored in each of the first four innings.
After Jarrod Dyson stole second and third base in the first following a single, David Peralta brought him home with an RBI single and Ketel Marte scored Peralta two batters later on a double.
Eduardo Escobar’s two-RBI triple came the next inning and Peralta picked up an RBI for the second straight inning with a double to score Escobar.
A single hit by Alex Avila in the third scored Christian Walker after Walker doubled and Escobar made it four RBI on the night with a solo homer in the fourth.
From there, it was a 7-2 lead for Arizona.
It was a good night for the offense to get rolling early because D-backs starter Robbie Ray couldn’t.
He threw a first-pitch ball to his first four hitters, and on an 0-2 count to Bryan Reynolds, Ray tossed a ball belt-high in the strike zone that Reynolds turned into an RBI single and the second run of the opening half for the Pirates.
Ray (3-1) threw 48 pitches through two innings, showing his usual command issues. But he finally found a rhythm in the third, retiring seven straight batters into the fifth inning.
In that fifth Ray had three runners reach, including Startling Marte’s triple for Pittsburgh, but no runs were scored. If you’re wondering how that didn’t result in runs, it’s because Marte broke for home on a slowly-hit ball right at Ray and was easily thrown out.
Pirates starter Nick Kingham (1-1) exited after four innings, giving up 10 hits on seven runs (all earned) and a walk.
Ray ended his day at 5.0 innings pitched on two runs (one earned) with six hits allowed and two walks.
The left-hander was originally on-deck to hit in the bottom of the fifth before Alex Avila’s double made it runners on second and third with one out. Ray’s pitch count was at 94. A balk that inning by Pirates reliever Michael Feliz scored run number eight of the game for the D-backs.
One of Ray’s six strikeouts was No. 800 for his career, making him the second-quickest left-hander in MLB history to the number by games pitched. Going by innings pitched, Ray’s the third-fastest, trailing relievers Aroldis Chapman and Billy Wagner.
Matt Andriese produced a scoreless sixth, and while Jimmie Sherfy loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, he struck out the next three hitters to keep the run total for Pittsburgh at two.
Walker mashed a solo homer in the bottom half, making it a 2-of-4 day for the first baseman who entered the game hitting just .214 in his last 11.
Sherfy got the eighth done and Archie Bradley was given a low-leverage situation in the ninth to try and get out of his current funk.
Bradley could not capitalize on the chance. Three Pirates picked up hits off him, resulting in one run before Bradley ended the game.
In the 6.1 innings, Bradley has pitched in May, he’s given up eight earned runs and allowed 16 runners on base.
Luke Weaver takes the mound for the D-backs against Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Weaver (3-1) leads all Arizona starters in ERA (2.98). In three of his last four starts, Weaver has given up only one run and pitched at least six innings. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in each of his last two starts.
Musgrove (1-4) has lost his three last outings, allowing a combined 14 earned runs in his previous 12.1 innings. Prior to the start of May, though, the right-hander had an ERA of 1.59 in his first four starts.