Zac Gallen gives up 4 runs over 4 innings in D-backs’ blowout loss
PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen allowed more than three runs in a start for just the second time in his major league career and the first time this season in a 14-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
Josh Rojas went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three runs scored in the loss and has now homered in three consecutive games. Carson Kelly was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and continues to be productive offensively.
Gallen, coming off his one-hit, seven-inning complete-game gem against the Atlanta Braves, had to rise and grind in this start, throwing 27 pitches in the first and 18 pitches in the second. He got behind in the count too many times and labored through long at-bats in the outing.
“I just couldn’t really get into rhythm, which didn’t allow our hitters get into rhythm. Didn’t really give us a chance to win,” Gallen said of his outing via Zoom postgame.
As has been the case in every game of this series, the Rockies jumped out to an early lead when Trevor Story walked and scored on an RBI-double by Ryan McMahon in the first inning.
Gallen made shorter work of the third inning, but he struggled to get his final out in the fourth. He gave up a pair of doubles to Dom Nunez and Story, allowing a total of three earned runs on four hits in the inning before exiting the game.
Gallen’s high pitch count mixed with a short leash due to the stress fracture in his forearm ended his night before he could reach the fifth. He allowed at least one base runner in every inning he pitched.
“Zac Gallen I thought at times was just missing off the edges of the plate, and he’s such a perfectionist and it just wasn’t landing perfectly in the place he wanted it,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said via Zoom postgame.
He gave up six hits and an uncharacteristically high four earned runs in four innings with seven strikeouts, two walks allowed and a hit batter.
“I felt like I had a decent feel for all the pitches, just long at-bats,” added Gallen.
Offensively, it wasn’t pretty at times, but the team continues to find a way to put runs on the board. Their first hit came in the third inning on a Nick Ahmed single, who later scored on an error that allowed Pavin Smith to reach base.
They plated another run on a Carson Kelly sac-fly in the inning that gave Arizona a temporary lead.
“We kept making noise offensively,” Lovullo said. “I felt like things were always constantly rumbling and we were in what I felt like was a crash course for a big inning to take the lead. But I think things obviously got out of control there late in the game and we had to maneuver and do things a little differently than we had planned.”
Rojas was a bright spot at the dish in his 3-for-4 night. Over his last eight games, Rojas is batting .407 with two doubles, three homers and eight RBIs.
Andrew Young continues to have a nice season as well and contributed his first career pinch-hit home run in the sixth. He is hitting .375 this season.
The D-backs starting lineup, which consisted of four players hitting below .200, went three up, three down in three of the four innings they were in the game.
Despite the efforts by the offense, the Rockies were able to add 10 more runs against the D-backs bullpen in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
The D-backs and Rockies will do this one more time in game four on Sunday. Pitcher Merrill Kelly will start in his sixth game of the season for Arizona.
Kelly is 2-2 this season with a 6.33 ERA. In four career starts against Colorado, he is 1-3 with a 7.99 ERA.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.