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D-backs SP Zac Gallen fans 8 in impressive 2021 debut vs. Athletics

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Oakland Athletics at Chase Field on April 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen picked up where he left off in his 2021 debut Tuesday afternoon against the Oakland Athletics.

Throwing 82 pitches over 4.0 innings of work, Gallen allowed just one earned run on three hits and two walks. He struck out eight batters and gave up a home run.

It wasn’t exactly a smooth start, however.

Issuing a walk to leadoff hitter Mark Canha, Gallen would get Ramon Laureano to lineout before a wild pitch allowed Canha to move over to second base.

Jed Lowrie followed up the miscue with a single, moving Canha over to third with just one out.

But just as it looked like the wheels may have been wobbling, Gallen responded with back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.

The success poured over to the second inning, with Gallen allowing a lone single to Stephen Piscotty before retiring the side.

In the third inning, Gallen used an 87.3 mph changeup and 85.8 mph cutter to strike both Canha and Laureano out. He would allow a walk before getting Seth Brown to groundout.

Gallen’s lone blemish of the afternoon came in the fourth inning, courtesy of Piscotty. The right fielder took the first offering he saw, roping an 84.8 mph cutter into left-center field.

Gallen wouldn’t allow more than that, though, striking out the next three batters before handing the ball over in the fifth inning to reliever Taylor Clarke.

It’s a good sign for both the D-backs and Gallen, who used a handful of knuckle curves Tuesday. When he went down with the injury, he was having trouble throwing the pitch.

The D-backs offense also gave Gallen plenty of insurance early on, compiling five combined runs in the second and third innings. Gallen even chipped in himself, recording a single on a bunt in the second inning.

The Diamondbacks ultimately fell to the A’s, 7-5.

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