The Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen traded places with that of the New York Mets on Friday, as compared to the game a day prior.
The Diamondbacks only had one run and trailed by one after five innings, but they sent Mets starter Jonathon Niese to the showers after the sixth by making him surrender two runs in the frame.
The home team later exploded in the eighth inning against a trio of Mets relievers. The D-backs padded their lead with four runs in the frame, and the wind was out of the Mets’ sails by the time the outburst was finished.
Arizona earned a convincing 7-2 victory in the second of a four-game set at Chase Field, evening up the series and improving to 26-28. The Diamondbacks’ offense was efficient in the contest, as it took just nine hits to reach their impressive run total.
D-backs starter Jeremy Hellickson wasn’t perfect in the game, but he went six solid innings and left with his team still in contention. His teammates ended up handing him a win, boosting his record to 4-3.
New York fell to 30-26, dropping out of first place in the National League East. Niese (3-6) took the loss, despite giving up just three runs and six hits while striking out eight in six innings.
Here’s a look at the second game of the series, by the numbers:
A day after surrendering six runs in four innings of relief, Arizona’s bullpen didn’t allow New York to reach home once. Andrew Chafin, Daniel Hudson and Randall Delgado all went one inning apiece, and none even gave up a hit, much less a run; the latter two even struck out two batters each. New York’s bullpen, meanwhile, allowed four D-backs runs in two innings of work. Carlos Torres was charged with three earned runs on two hits and one walk in one-plus innings.
2 hours, 49 minutes
The game concluded much faster than the series opener did, even though the final scores were roughly the same. Friday’s tilt was finished in two hours and 49 minutes — as opposed the three hour, 22 minute contest a day earlier. Friday also marked a sharp improvement in attendance, as 24,332 fans took in the D-backs’ victory; on Thursday, only 18,954 were on hand to see Arizona lose 6-2.
4 (part I)
Hellickson allowed a runner to reach home or get on base in each of his first five innings, but the good news is he held New York to two runs. He also recorded his fourth straight start of six innings or more — all quality starts — which follows a streak of four straight outings of 5.2 innings or fewer. The right-hander threw 104 pitches Friday and tied his season high of six strikeouts, but he did walk three Mets batters. His ERA dipped slightly to 4.88 with the performance.
4 (part II)
New Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo, acquired in the Mark Trumbo trade earlier in the week, went hitless in four at-bats, all four ending in strikeouts. The 28-year-old right-handed hitter hasn’t struck out that many times in one game since April 23, 2013, when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs. Castillo’s National League batting average fell to .149 with the hitless performance. Arizona’s 5-8 hitters were rather quiet in the win, combining to go 2-for-13 with two RBI and two walks.
Over his last four games, Yasmany Tomas has three multi-hit performances and has batted 8-for-16 overall. The rookie went 2-for-3 Friday with an RBI (his 21st) and a double (his ninth), improving his average to .338. He also made his first major league start in right field, and was error-free with a memorable fourth-inning catch to boot.
Chris Owings singled in his first at-bat to improve his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. He ended the night 1-for-3 with a strikeout, but he did notch his 13th RBI of the season in the eighth inning, driving home Paul Goldschmidt with a sacrifice fly.
The Diamondbacks swiped three bases in the victory, and a double steal in the eigth inning saw A.J. record his team-leading 14th stolen base; Goldschmidt (9) and Nick Ahmed (2) were the other Diamondbacks to steal a bag Friday. Pollock had a stellar game overall, finishing the night 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles (his 11th and 12th), two RBI (his 24th and 25th) and two runs scored. The 27-year-old outfielder is on a six-game hitting streak.
Goldschmidt went 1-for-3 with his 46th RBI along with one intentional walk and one strikeout, but his two runs scored were perhaps the most important part of his performance. He hustled for the go-ahead run off Tomas’ double in the sixth inning, and he reached home again in the eighth on Owings’ sac fly. Somewhat surprisingly, the power hitter leads the D-backs in runs scored with 43.
As of the end of the night, Arizona is tied with Texas for the second-most runs scored in the MLB with 252. Only Toronto (283) has recorded more.
Left-handed pitchers should really be careful around Pollock. After going 2-for-3 against Niese in the win, Pollock is now hitting .396 this season against southpaws. His batting average is at .330 overall.