Diamondbacks ride 6-run 6th to 2nd straight win over Rangers
PHOENIX — Beyond general consistency, mini-explosions of offense have evaded the Arizona Diamondbacks for most of the season.
Entering Wednesday, the D-backs had scored over five runs in an inning just twice, and it hasn’t happened since Aug. 12. Those handfuls of wins off the offense catching a next-level rhythm for 15-30 minutes just haven’t been there.
Against the Texas Rangers, they made it look rather simple.
After a solid-enough outing by Alex Young left Arizona down 3-1 through five-and-a-half innings, they jumped all over the Texas Rangers in a six-run sixth for a 7-3 win.
Eduardo Escobar and Kole Calhoun led off the inning with singles, already marking the most momentum the offense had found in the game.
After Nick Ahmed’s groundout moved both runners up, Carson Kelly singled to score both and then back-to-back homers by Wyatt Mathisen and Tim Locastro officially blew the game open.
“Those big innings — they’re built,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
“It gets powerful when there’s a couple guys on and you’ve handed it off … it gets magnified.”
That goes back to Young putting the team in a position to win, allowing three earned runs over 5.0 innings on six hits and a walk.
Mathisen homered twice in the game, picking up the first of his career in the fifth. He joins Conor Jackson as the second rookie in D-backs history to hit his first two home runs in the same game.
“I just wanted to get the barrel on the ball,” Mathisen said. “First thing was I felt it get on the barrel and I was like, ‘Oh! Great! That’s a good start!’ And then saw where it was and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s got a shot!’ and then it went out and that was awesome.”
A clean seventh from Travis Bergen, eighth for Yoan Lopez and ninth via Stefan Crichton made it a smooth ride to the win for Arizona. It is only their second series sweep of the season, and this was of the two-game variety.
Lovullo often mentions the desirable style of “downhill baseball” for the D-backs getting after it from the jump, which is the right mentality to have. But the drop-off in Arizona’s overall level of execution year-to-year has been startling and hasn’t allowed for that to take shape all that much.
In a season down the drain, they could have also used a few more wins like Wednesday’s that can clean some of that up on its own.
The D-backs are off on Thursday before playing in their final series of the 2020 season. They’ll take on the Colorado Rockies twice Friday in a double-header. That’s to make up for a game they lost back on Aug. 27 when the Rockies decided not to play along with many other teams across sports in protest of social injustice and police brutality.
First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. and the second is tentatively planned for 6:40 p.m.
That initial game can be heard on ESPN 620 AM while Game 2 will be on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.