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D-backs’ Alex Young breaks rookie record with 12 strikeouts

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Alex Young throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie Alex Young struck out 12 in eight innings, Ketel Marte drove in a run and scored another and the Arizona Diamondbacks extended their playoff surge, beating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 Saturday for their fifth straight victory.

Jimmie Sherfy fanned slugger Eugenio Suarez and rookie sensation Aristides Aquino with runners on first and second to end it.

The Diamondbacks have won 11 of 12 and moved a season-high eight games over .500. They began the day 2.5 games behind Chicago for the second NL wild-card spot.

Marte has been Arizona’s MVP during the surge. He singled home a run off Luis Castillo (14-6) in the fourth inning, advanced on Eduardo Escobar’s double and scored on Christian Walker’s groundout. In his last five games, Marte is 12-for-20 with two doubles, a triple, three homers and 12 RBIs.

Overall, Marte has 31 homers and 89 RBIs, both career highs. He also leads the NL in hits and multihit games.

Young (7-3) limited the Reds to infield singles by Jose Iglesias and Curt Casali in his longest appearance. The left-hander walked one and set a career high in strikeouts in his 12th start since he was called up in June.

Andrew Chafin gave up a single and a walk in the ninth. Sherfy completed the combined three-hitter and got his second major league save.

Marte’s RBI single was one of only three hits off Castillo, who struck out 10 and walked three in 7 2/3 innings. Castillo went over 200 strikeouts in a season for the first time.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray’s blister on the middle finger of his left hand showed improvement Saturday, and he’s not expected to miss a start. Ray left in the fifth inning Friday night as a precaution.

Reds: Catcher Juan Graterol was reinstated from the concussion list. Center fielder Nick Senzel was out of the lineup for the fourth game with a sore right shoulder.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: Mike Leake (11-10) tries for his first career victory against his former team. Leake is 0-5 with a 4.75 ERA in eight career starts against the Reds. He played for Cincinnati from 2010-15.

Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (9-8) is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 2.16 ERA.

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