Christian Walker hits another 3-run homer as D-backs hold off Guardians
CLEVELAND (AP) — Christian Walker hit a three-run homer, Alek Thomas had a two-run double and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cleveland Guardians 6-3 on Tuesday night to stop a four-game losing streak.
Carson Kelly hit a solo homer, had three hits and scored two runs for Arizona, which never trailed in winning at Progressive Field for the first time since Aug. 13, 2014.
Zac Gallen (6-2) allowed three runs, six hits and three walks in 5.2 innings, striking out five. The right-hander is 2-0 in nine starts since June 15.
“That’s a good lineup, and the Guardians have got a lot of good players,” Gallen said. “I knew they don’t swing and miss much, so I tried to use that to my advantage. Then, those guys in the bullpen came in and slammed the door.”
Kyle Nelson, Joe Mantiply and Ian Kennedy retired Cleveland’s final 10 batters. Kennedy struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save, all on the road.
“Gallen is really good and they have some pretty good left-handers in that bullpen, too, in Nelson and Mantiply,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “They’ve got some ways to beat you.”
Cleveland, which trails AL Central leader Minnesota by one game, received two hits and two RBIs from Luke Maile and a run-scoring single from All-Star José Ramírez.
Right-hander Triston McKenzie (7-8) surrendered Walker’s three-run drive in the first and lost his second straight start. He struck out seven over six innings and gave up five runs, four earned.
“Allowing the three-run home run, it set the tone for the game, set the team behind,” McKenzie said. “I was kind of unhappy about it, but my stuff felt really good.”
The trade deadline passed without a significant move by the Guardians, who have the youngest team in the majors and unexpectedly find themselves in playoff contention.
“The guys in there deserve the right not to lose their jobs,” said Francona, whose team has won 10 of its last 16. “I like our direction.”
Walker’s three-run homer was his second in two days, and Kelly hit a solo shot off Enyel De Los Santos in the seventh. Thomas’ two-run double in the fifth extended Arizona’s lead to 5-2, plating Kelly and Sergio Alcántara.
Diamondbacks third baseman Emmanuel Rivera, acquired Monday from Kansas City for pitcher Luke Weaver, joined the team and was added to the roster.
“I’m a fan of the trade deadline as a fan of baseball, but you kind of count down the clock until it hits,” said Kennedy, whose name was mentioned in several potential deals. “I follow all the moves, just like you guys.”
Steven Kwan doubled to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest by a Cleveland rookie since Michael Brantley in 2010.
Diamondbacks LHP Caleb Smith (right hand fracture), who got hurt Saturday after being removed from a game in Atlanta, underwent surgery to repair his right pinky finger.
D-backs LHP Tommy Henry will be recalled from Triple-A Reno to make his big league debut in the three-game series finale at 10:10 a.m. on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.
Henry, who is on the taxi squad, went 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 20 starts for the Aces.
Guardians RHP Shane Bieber (5-6, 3.41 ERA) makes his 100th career start, all with Cleveland. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner has a 46-24 record with a 3.32 ERA through 99 starts, striking out 751 over 621.2 innings.