Eduardo Escobar leads D-backs to first series win in 66 days
Jul 7, 2021, 10:53 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2021, 7:39 am
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen came together for a strong outing in a 6-4 win over the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on Wednesday night that helped the team clinch its first series win in 66 days.
This is just the 10th time this season Arizona has won back-to-back games.
All-star Eduardo Escobar was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, and Pavin Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
“We won a series,” manager Torey Lovullo said on the win. “We haven’t won a series in I don’t know how long. We won two games in a row. I don’t know how long that’s been either. It’s a good feeling. It was a shared effort, and I’m happy for these guys.”
Relief pitcher Humberto Castellanos made his first career start for a D-backs rotation that has been decimated by injuries this season. Despite struggling to find the strike zone out of the gate, he settled in nicely and only gave up a walk and a single in the first inning.
He got in a groove and kept the Rockies from getting any big hits, mostly a smattering of harmless singles. He hit first baseman C.J. Cron in the fourth inning and was able to get Elias Diaz to ground into the inning-ending double play.
With a limited pitch count, Castellanos’ day was over after four innings and 60 pitches, but he had an outstanding outing for the D-backs considering the circumstances.
He gave up four hits, none for extra bases and no runs. He had four strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter.
“Castellanos, unfortunately, didn’t have a lot of pitches left, and he was right at that breaking point for us. But he did a great job and gave us four innings and it was time to maneuver and turn it over to the bullpen.”
Castellanos not only had a good day on the mound, but he contributed at the plate in his first plate appearance as a major leaguer with a sac fly that scored Nick Ahmed.
The D-backs put up an early three runs for the second consecutive game, with singles by Christian Walker and Smith in the second inning. Both scored on RBI singles by Ahmed and Daulton Varsho.
The D-backs bullpen picked up the slack in this game where they knew they would be needed. Matt Peacock stepped up and gave the team three strong innings.
His only mistake was a first-pitch solo home run that Diaz jumped on to lead off the seventh inning. He allowed just three hits and one earned run.
Recently called up outfielder Stuart “Manchild” Fairchild got his first big league hit with a line-drive single in the bottom of the seventh that kicked off an important late-game scoring drive.
After Rojas walked, Escobar brought everyone home with a 439-foot three-run home run that put the D-backs up by five.
“He continues to have big hits for us and he takes a 3-1 game and makes it 6-1 with one swing of the bat,” Lovullo said of Escobar’s home run.
“We’re looking for guys to step up in key situations and have that competitive, successful at-bat, and it’s hard to do. But Eduardo has been that guy for us. You can see he’s our All-Star, so it was the right guy at the right time, and we needed that. You can see where the game ended up score-wise.”
And those insurance runs would be needed as the wheels finally fell off the bullpen in the eighth inning. Joe Mantiply gave up two hits and three runs, two earned, without getting an out.
Reliever Brett de Geus couldn’t keep the Rockies off the board either as he gave up an RBI single to Cron for Colorado’s third run in the inning.
He was able to stop the bleeding, assisted by Rojas who made a phenomenal running catch in right field that ended the inning.
In the ninth, veteran closer Joakim Soria made short work of the top of the order with a 1-2-3 inning to secure his second save of the season and the D-backs’ seventh save overall.
They have now won eight of their last 10 games against the Rockies.
The D-backs will go for their second series sweep of the season in the finale of the three-game set with the Rockies on Thursday. Jake Faria will make his third start for Arizona. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN 620 AM.
Faria will be looking for his first win. He has two no-decisions with a 5.25 ERA, 11 strikeouts and a 1.333 WHIP in 12 innings pitched.