Corbin Martin makes D-backs debut, tosses 5 strong innings in loss to LA
It’s daunting when your first start since 2019 is against the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s especially daunting when Mookie Betts is the leadoff hitter and slams a home run on your second pitch.
But Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher and high-ranking prospect Corbin Martin shook it off to bounce back for a sharp debut with the D-backs on Tuesday night.
In the 9-1 road loss to the Dodgers, Martin allowed four hits and three runs, issued four walks and struck out six across five innings of work.
“On a big stage, driving a game plan and accepting all these responsibilities, all these little add-ins that we talk about here that matter to us,” Arizona skipper Torey Lovullo said postgame.
“All these little things, he handled it so well. … I couldn’t be more pleased with what we saw from him today.”
After facing Betts, Martin struck out the next two Dodgers. Will Smith grounded out to first base to finish the inning.
The right-hander produced a quick second inning but labored in the third, where he loaded the bases on two walks and a single. He was able to escape the jam after Matt Beaty popped out to David Peralta.
The Dodgers took the lead in the fifth inning with a two-run home run off Martin. He followed up the homer by getting Smith to pop out to first base and struck out Max Muncy to end the inning and his outing.
“From the second I got to the field, it kind of kicked in,” Martin said of the nerves he felt taking the mound. “I feel like I get that feeling every time I pitch and it was just a little bit more today just being such a long road getting back, especially pitching against the Dodgers.
“A really good lineup. Just wanted to go out there and compete and get as far as I could into the game.”
The 25-year-old righty played five games with the Houston Astros in 2019 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was then dealt to Arizona as part of the Zack Greinke trade.
Martin has since spent time with the Triple-A Reno Aces and is considered the D-backs’ No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
“It was one of those calls you always love to hear,” he said of being called up. “It’s what you dream of. It’s what you play for. … I’m just glad they gave me the opportunity today.”
The game was still in reach for the D-backs until it began to go awry in the seventh inning.
With the bases loaded, Albert Pujols was hit by a Kevin Ginkel pitch, walking in a run for the Dodgers. Los Angeles took an even larger lead with a grand slam by Gavin Lux two batters later.
Meanwhile, the D-backs continued to feel the loss of their injured players.
Arizona notched just three hits on the night and its lone run of the game came from an RBI-double by Peralta in the second that scored Andrew Young.
Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias held Arizona’s offense in check all night, at one point retiring 13 straight batters.
“It’s hard not to try to do a little bit more when some of your brothers are missing. That’s just human nature,” Lovullo said.
“We have very good baseball players that feel like that can amplify things, but I think that we’re just guilty of trying to do too much, too fast and too perfectly. We just need to relax and let the game come to us.”
The D-backs face Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday for the third game of the four-game series. The Dodgers’ ace is 6-3 on the season with a 3.20 ERA.
First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.