D-backs’ Zac Gallen extends scoreless streak, bullpen falters vs. Royals

Aug 24, 2022, 7:27 PM | Updated: 8:18 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws during the first inning of a baseball game ...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen kept alive his scoreless innings streak on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals and extended it to 27.1 innings.

Unfortunately for him and D-backs, Gallen couldn’t get it to 30.1, so Arizona’s bullpen had to take over and blew yet another game in a 5-3 loss.

Gallen exited with three hits and three walks allowed in 6.0 innings while striking out six.

He was coming off four straight wins and was positioned to get a fifth on Wednesday thanks to Daulton Varsho’s solo homer in the fifth but Kansas City got a run off reliever Noe Ramirez to tie the game 1-1 in the seventh inning.

Ramirez exited for Joe Mantiply, who allowed back-to-back singles to put the D-backs behind 2-1. With two runners on, Mantiply then gave up a three-run homer to Royals third baseman Bobby Witt Jr.

The loss credited to Ramirez is the 31st for a D-backs reliever this season, the most in MLB. Arizona’s two other runs came via two wild pitches in the ninth inning and Christian Walker’s career-high 30th home run.

Gallen’s 27.1 innings tie Andy Benes’ same mark from September 1998 for the third-longest streak in franchise history spanning over just one season, per D-backs Stats & Info.

Two separate periods from Brandon Webb sit above the rest. Webb went 30.0 consecutive innings without giving up a run in 2006, only to top it a year later by reaching 42.0 for the franchise record.

Gallen had reached 7.0 innings in three straight starts entering Wednesday but Kansas City worked some at-bats to prevent Gallen from getting that deep into the game.

Two walks in the second inning put a runner in scoring position with two outs and the streak nearly ended at 24.0 innings in the bottom of the third.

Royals designated hitter Salvador Perez singled to center with a runner on first and two outs. The runner, catcher M.J. Melendez, executed the hit-and-run to be in a position to score.

D-backs center fielder Alek Thomas quickly got the ball in to shortstop Sergio Alcantara and Alcantara had to make a difficult turn-and-throw motion to catcher Carson Kelly at home. He found Kelly on the left side of the plate and Kelly did an excellent job of tracking Melendez with his tag as he caught the ball to tag him out.

Two innings later, a leadoff double for Royals first baseman Hunter Dozier was followed by a sacrifice to put Dozier within 90 feet of closing out the streak.

A walk and an out later, Witt was up with runners on the corners and two outs. Witt in a 2-2 count swung low at a cutter out of the zone that nearly flared into right field for a single but Daulton Varsho’s speedy pursuit saw him reel it in.

That left Gallen at 84 pitches through five innings, and a clean 1-2-3 across just 11 pitches the next frame kept the streak going.

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