Zac Gallen’s terrific outing propels Diamondbacks over Pirates

Aug 8, 2022, 10:53 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the f...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates with seven efficient innings on Monday at Chase Field in Phoenix as the D-backs (49-59) took down Pittsburgh (44-65) 3-0.

Gallen struck out eight, walked just two and gave up only three hits. He threw 89 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. The outing was the ace’s fourth of the season in which he lasted seven or more innings and his fifth where he did not allow a run. With the win, he improved to 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA in his last seven starts and is now 7-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 21 starts overall this season.

“I felt like I had everything, honestly,” Gallen said. “First time I really had the slider working for most of the game. But yeah man, I felt like everything was there. Good command of the fastball, good command of the curveball, changeup.”

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo praised the performance of his starting pitcher.

“This day was all about Zac Gallen,” Lovullo said. “He, for me, was in total control from the first pitch until his last. Was able to spin breaking balls, was able to throw a very aggressive fastball and he set the tone for us.”

Gallen was aided by the D-backs’ defense in the game. He himself made multiple Gold Glove-caliber plays, and right fielder Daulton Varsho made a spectacular throw to Geraldo Perdomo to retire Bryan Reynolds, who was attempting to advance to third with one out in the seventh.

“I was right there in shallow center,” D-backs third baseman Josh Rojas said of the play. “It hit off (Alek Thomas’) glove and … not only was it a great throw but (Varsho) was in a great spot to make a great throw and picked it up and threw it right on the money. Hosed him.”

The crucial moment in the game was a costly error by Pittsburgh third baseman Michael Chavis in the sixth inning.

D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo hit a ground ball to Chavis, who was unable to field the play cleanly while he seemingly lost track of the ball. Perdomo reached first on the error and became the potential game-winning run.

The next batter, Rojas, advanced Perdomo to third on a bunt single down the first base line, setting up Thomas to try to drive in Perdomo. Even though Thomas hit into a double play, there were no outs heading into the at-bat due to Chavis’ error, so Perdomo was able to score from third.

Ketel Marte hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to provide the Snakes with some insurance and Ian Kennedy closed out the ballgame to give the D-backs the first of four against the Pirates.

Arizona will resume its series with the Pirates on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. Arizona time. The game can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Recently called up lefty Tommy Henry (0-1, 7.20 ERA) will start for the D-backs and righty Zach Thompson (3-8, 5.15 ERA) will take the bump for Pittsburgh. Tuesday’s game will be Henry’s second start in the big leagues and his home debut. In a loss to the Cleveland Guardians on Aug. 2, the 25-year-old was a bit shaky in his debut, giving up four earned runs and walking three batters in five innings of work on the road.

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