Zac Gallen shuts down Dodgers; D-backs win 1st series of 2022
Apr 27, 2022, 5:16 PM
PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen tossed six scoreless innings, while the D-backs took advantage of late defensive woes to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Wednesday.
Arizona (8-11) clinched its first series victory of the season with the win, defeating the Dodgers in a set for the first time since 2019.
The D-backs won the game with two hits, as strong pitching and defense kept the club competitive until they scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning.
“We have learned to embrace close games, we’ve learned to embrace the importance of execution at the most critical moments and we’re prepared to play games like this all season long,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.
Gallen had the fastball working early on Wednesday. He blew one past shortstop Trea Turner in the first inning for a punch out and caught left fielder Chris Taylor looking in the second.
His heater was sitting between 94-96 miles per hour, and he effectively paired it with his secondary weapons to keep L.A.’s hitters from barreling the ball.
Zac Gallen, Nasty 81mph Knuckle Curve. 😨 pic.twitter.com/tpOpaUaHKF
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 27, 2022
“I think he is on the attack and in the zone with his fastball,” Lovullo said. “And he’s throwing it exactly where he wants to. … I think he’s just changing speeds and then mixing the curveball and the change-up and when those pitches are landing, he’s pretty good.”
Gallen’s gem was his longest of three starts this season, as he threw 90 pitches. Lovullo said his limit would be 95, but Gallen said he felt good enough to go 110.
He was engulfed in a pitcher’s duel, though, as Dodgers starter Julio Urias threw four no-hit innings before shortstop Nick Ahmed broke through with a solo blast in the fifth.
Nick Ahmed vs. lefties >>> pic.twitter.com/waIa0D2NKr
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 27, 2022
Gallen’s day finished after he escaped a jam with two runners on in the sixth inning. He fired a 92-mile-per-hour cutter inside to strikeout center fielder Cody Bellinger and maintain the lead.
“I had an idea that I could get to the seventh, the sixth just went a little bit long,” Gallen said. “Just trying to keep us in the game, save the bullpen as long as I can.”
Through 15 innings this year, Gallen has allowed one run on four hits.
Noe Ramirez continued the shutout in the seventh, but the Dodgers tied the game 1-1 against Ian Kennedy in the eighth.
Arizona jumped back out front in the bottom half when third baseman Sergio Alcantara laid down a bunt to third. Max Muncy fielded the ball and sailed it off the top of first baseman Freddie Freeman’s glove and into foul ground.
Right fielder Mookie Betts had a long way to go to retrieve it, and Arizona center fielder Daulton Varsho scored on the error.
Alcantara coasted into third base and scored on a fielder’s choice soon after.
The performance followed what general manager Mike Hazen laid out as the fabric of the team on Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke before the game. Hazen said the D-backs will lean on strong pitching and defense to stay competitive, while the offense can make opponents pay for mistakes.
A similar layout played out during Tuesday’s 5-3 win over L.A. The D-backs took the lead in the eighth inning after shutting out the Dodgers through innings 2-8 and turning five double plays.
Arizona has a seven-game road trip ahead starting Thursday in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
Humberto Castellanos is scheduled to pitch after coming off the Paternity List on Wednesday.
First pitch from Busch Stadium is at 4:45 p.m. and will air on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2.