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Taylor Clarke hits 1st career home run against Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Taylor Clarke, right, celebrates with catcher John Ryan Murphy after the Diamondbacks defeated the Chicago Cubs in a baseball game Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Diamondbacks are known to have one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball in Zack Greinke.

Apparently, recent call-up Taylor Clarke has learned something from the seasoned ace.

With the Diamondbacks and Rockies tied at three runs apiece in the top of the second inning, Clarke lifted a Kyle Freeland fastball into the left field stands of Coors Field, putting the D-backs up 4-3 in a slugfest of a game.

It was Clarke’s first career home run, counting college, minor league and major league plate appearances. He is the second rookie pitcher in team history to hit a home run and is one of 10 pitchers since 1998 to hit a home run within their first four career games.

Clarke pitched well in his first three outings of the season with a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings but gave up five earned runs in two innings to the Rockies, who led 5-4 when he exited. At the plate, Clarke had one hit in four major league plate appearances before Thursday’s start. He wasn’t horrific in the minors though, as he batted .238 in 95 plate attempts with six RBIs.

The D-backs would go on to lose 11-10 in 10 innings on a walk-off RBI single by Daniel Murphy off Yoshihisa Hirano.

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