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D-backs’ Gallen ties record for string of starts allowing 3 or fewer runs

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen continued his streak of solid starts on Saturday night.

Posting a one-run outing in the team’s 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants, the pitcher tied an MLB record with 21 games allowing three or less earned runs to start his career.

Entering play Saturday, Gallen sported a 3-6 record with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP through 20 career games. Over that span, he allowed 33 earned runs and struck out 132.

“It’s just a testament of trying not to let innings explode … but like I said last time it’s a testament to the guys making plays,” Gallen said after the game. “… It’s just one of those things of just trying to minimize damage and just keep us in the game. It’s kinda one of those records where if I’m successful I’m going to keep us in the game and give us a good shot to win.”

But despite allowing just three hits, the earned run and four walks through 6.0 innings Saturday — on top of his previous outings — Gallen is still looking for his first victory of the abbreviated season. While the team has picked up four wins in his last six of his outings this year, Gallen has yet to be credited with a W.

“He’s just such a professional and he’s so easy-going and just keeps that mindset with everything that he does,” manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “… There’s obviously some frustration there that he doesn’t have a record to show for how well he’s pitched but we know. We know, his teammates know and he knows. That’s the most important thing.”

Unfortunately for Gallen, the combination of the D-backs offense and bullpen haven’t done him any favors. Saturday’s showing among the smokey San Francisco air was the latest example.

After limiting the damage to just one run through six innings, the D-backs offense mustered a run in the seventh to tie things up at 1-1.

But just as the momentum seemed to be shifting, the Giants slammed the door shut in the same frame, attacking the D-backs’ bullpen once Gallen exited.

Reliever Matt Grace failed to record an out before Junior Guerra was called into the game. Guerra couldn’t right the ship, allowing back-to-back walks with the bases loaded. A groundout RBI and an RBI single extended the lead to 5-1 before Taylor Widener was able to work his way out of the inning with one hit allowed.

The D-backs had one last shot in the ninth but couldn’t get any kind of offensive spark. The team totaled just three hits in the outing. Arizona has just 10 hits in the series against the Giants.

“We’ve got to turn this around,” Lovullo said. “We’ve got to find a way tomorrow to come out and do our job. It’s frustrating and we budget for these tough times. We talk about the tough days and we talk about what it’s going to look like tomorrow. These guys will fight together, they will come out here and give me their best effort which they always do.”

The D-backs will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on the Giants at 1:10 p.m Sunday. Catch all the action live at 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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