ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs score 5 runs in 6th inning with 2 outs to sweep Royals in 2-game series

May 24, 2022, 10:59 PM | Updated: 10:59 pm
Pavin Smith #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his two-run home run with Daulton Varsho #12...
Pavin Smith #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his two-run home run with Daulton Varsho #12 against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning at Chase Field on May 24, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks (23-22) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to an 8-6 win over the Kansas City Royals (14-28) at Chase Field on Tuesday night.

The most impressive part of the five-run sixth? All five runs came across to score with two outs and former D-backs RHP Taylor Clarke on the mound.

It was a rough outing from Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen, who came into the matchup with a 1.14 ERA. The right-hander was pulled in the aforementioned sixth inning after going 5.1 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits (one home run) and four walks while striking out four on 96 pitches (60 strikes).

Gallen had only allowed a total of five runs this season prior to Tuesday night’s start.

“We won, so that’s the most important thing. But other than that, it was pretty bad,” Gallen said of his start postgame. “I felt like I made some decent pitches, but they just kind of found holes. Two walks then led to homers — that’s a big negative. Then just the two shutdown innings we scored and I wind up giving runs the following half innings so from me it’s pretty much just all not good. …

“Offense picked us up. You know you’re going to have games like that, so it is what it is.”

After the Royals took a 6-3 lead with three runs in the top of the sixth, the D-backs answered thanks to some timely hitting via the longball.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Jordan Luplow tied the game at 6-6 with a three-run pinch-hit moonshot to deep left field. That was the only contribution from Luplow on the night, as Drew Ellis came in as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh.

“I don’t want us to be known as a home run hitting team. I want us to be known as a good hitters that hits home runs because we’re balanced and hit through the baseball,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame of the D-backs’ recent power surge. “Our mindset is hard linedrives in the middle of the diamond 90 mph or greater and good things will take off from there. Your misses get hit in the air and you could hit a home run.”

And following a Daulton Varsho double, Pavin Smith gave the D-backs with a two-run big fly of his own to right field. The home run is the lefty’s sixth of the season and puts him tied with Varsho for the team lead in RBIs (21).

“I think everyone is doing a good job of that when there are guys in scoring position, just kind of rise to that occasion,” Smith said postgame of the team’s timely hitting. “We definitely struggled with that in the beginning of the year, but to be able to put that behind us and move forward has been big for us.”

Offensively, the D-backs finished the night with eight runs on nine hits and eight walks while leaving six runners on base and going 2-for-6 (.333) with runners in scoring position.

Daulton Varsho put the D-backs up 1-0 with a leadoff home run on the second pitch he saw from Royals starter Jonathan Heasley, taking the right-hander that went into the concourse in right center field. The big fly marks the eighth dinger for Varsho on the year.

The Royals got a similar result from their catcher in his first at-bat of the ballgame, as M.J. Melendez sent a Gallen cutter to the right field seats for a two-run homer that gave Kansas City a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. But three walks and a wild pitch from Heasley in the bottom half of the frame brought D-backs Jake McCarthy home to tie the game at 2-2.

And after Kansas City manufactured a run in the top of the third to take another one-run lead, D-backs left fielder David Peralta continued his power surge with a solo homer to left center to tie the game once again at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Peralta is now tied with Varsho for second on the team in home runs (eight), as well as tied for second in RBIs with Christian Walker (20).

Arizona’s bullpen was lights out for the second consecutive game against Kansas City. The four arms of Joe Mantiply, Noe Ramirez, Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon combined for 3.2 scoreless innings in relief of Gallen.

However, Mantiply inherited two runners — who both came around to score — when taking over for Gallen in the sixth, so those earned runs technically fall on the D-backs starter.

The hold is Kennedy’s eighth and Ramirez’s 10 on the year, while Melancon picked up his 10th save of the season.

“We got some guys in the backend that definitely lock it down,” Smith said. “I feel like Noe is in there pretty much every game, s he’s been great for us. Ian and then Mark at the end — and Joe too — everybody has been rock solid.”

EXTRA BASES

Clarke’s appearance marked the third former Diamondback to pitch in the two-game series following Zack Greinke and Matt Peacock’s outings in Monday’s 9-5 comeback win for Arizona.

UP NEXT

The D-backs get a day off before starting a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Arizona RHP Humberto Castellanos is scheduled to start, while L.A.’s starter is yet to be determined.

Penguin Air
Kansas City Royals' MJ Melendez connects for a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' MJ Melendez (1) celebrates his two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Royals' Ryan O'Hearn (66) and Hunter Dozier (17) during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jonathan Heasley throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen looks at a new baseball after giving up a two-run home run to Kansas City Royals' MJ Melendez, left, during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals first baseman Carlos Santana (41) reaches out to make a catch for an out at first base against Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker (53) during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield pauses between second and third base after getting caught off second base for a double play against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho (12) celebrates his home run against the Kansas City Royals with Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte (4) during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run against Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jonathan Heasley, left, during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Umpire Tom Hallion, left, calls a third strike against Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake Hager, right, as Kansas City Royals catcher MJ Melendez, middle, holds the baseball during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta points to the crowd as he rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' Dairon Blanco hits a two-run single next to Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Daulton Varsho during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals' MJ Melendez (1) celebrates with Hunter Dozier (17) and Nicky Lopez, left, after Melendez scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Jordan Luplow hits a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Jordan Luplow, right, celebrates his three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals with Alek Thomas (5) and Jake McCarthy (30) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Jordan Luplow flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith watches his home run against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals pitcher Taylor Clarke pauses on the field after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks' Jordan Luplow (8) celebrates his three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals with Diamondbacks' David Peralta (6) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Kansas City Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi is unable to make a play on a double by Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mark Melancon (34) shakes hands with catcher Daulton Varsho, left, after the final out of the team's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 8-6. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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