Tommy Henry deals, D-backs survive Shohei Ohtani blast in win vs. Angels
Jun 30, 2023, 9:48 PM | Updated: 10:10 pm
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks behind a gem start by Tommy Henry and an early grand slam from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took down the Los Angeles Angels 6-2 to open a three-game series in Anaheim.
Henry continued an electric stretch of starts with 5.2 innings of one-run ball and eight punch outs. In his last three outings, he has allowed four earned runs in 18.1 innings pitched.
The southpaw had his secondary stuff working, as he continued to live near 40% fastballs and divvy up sliders, curveballs and changeups.
He used all four pitches as put-aways for strikeouts, including a curveball to punch out Angels (44-40) star Mike Trout with a runner on to end the third.
Henry struck out a pair of batters with two runners on in the first to escape an early jam.
His only blemish on Friday was a loud one against Shohei Ohtani, who sent a hanging slider 115.1 mph over the wall in right during the sixth inning. The ball traveled an estimated 493 feet to give Ohtani his league-leading 30th home run. It was the longest home run hit this season.
Ohtani is on a historic run as one of four AL players ever with 15 home runs in June.
This went an estimated 493 feet.
Every day we think Shohei Ohtani can’t get any better. And every day he does. pic.twitter.com/tiSW9sCTOw
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 1, 2023
Henry allowed a Trout single after the blast but regrouped to record the next two outs before the D-backs turned to the bullpen.
Arizona (49-34) went 5-0 in games he started this month.
The D-backs took full advantage of two-out walks early to give Henry a lead.
Christian Walker drew a base on balls in the first inning to set up Evan Longoria with two on and two outs. Longoria lined a single to left to get on the board.
Angels starter Griffin Canning walked the bases loaded with two down in the second, which brought up Gurriel.
Gurriel worked a 3-2 count and saw a middle-middle slider that must have looked like a beach ball. He shot the ball into the bullpen in left for a grand slam, the sixth of his career.
The D-backs led 5-0 with three hits, two by Gurriel, through two innings.
Grand Slam for Lourdes Gurriel Jr! 🍍
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 1, 2023
Arizona could use Gurriel to heat up again. He was one of MLB’s hottest hitters in May, but a groin issue halted that momentum in early June. He went hitless in five straight starts in a stretch but has recorded knocks in three consecutive games with two home runs and a double.
After Gurriel’s grand slam, Geraldo Perdomo grabbed the victory vest and put it on the outfielder. They couldn’t lose after that, right?
The scoring cooled off, and Canning struck out nine batters in six innings. But the Angels did not make up much ground, and Arizona tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with a Carson Kelly sacrifice fly.
The D-backs won with Corbin Carroll sidelined with right shoulder soreness. He remains day-to-day.
D-backs OF Dominic Fletcher was recalled ahead of the game, setting a matchup against his brother, Angels infielder David Fletcher.
The Fletcher brothers — Orange Count natives — had never played against one another in an MLB game, and Friday’s reunion on the field came as a bittersweet moment. Their father, Tim, died earlier this month.
😇 Fletcher x Fletcher 🐍
Orange County natives David and Dominic share the field tonight for the first time in their MLB careers! pic.twitter.com/fmoJL16v8I
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 1, 2023
Cat out of the bag
A cat got on the field late in Friday’s game and jumped into the stands.
Angels infielder Eduardo Escobar, a former Diamondback, has a well-known fear of felines, so the stadium would have heard it if the cat went into the dugout.
Rally Cat, Rally Cat, what are they feeding you? pic.twitter.com/XzHHcF8UBq
— MLB (@MLB) July 1, 2023
Defensive play of the day
Jake McCarthy tracked down an Escobar flare down the line in right for diving catch to end the fourth inning and strand a runner.
Jake McCarthy tracks this ball to make the sliding catch! pic.twitter.com/7yXCmsGJV9
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 1, 2023
The second game of the series is set for 7:07 p.m. on Saturday. Ryne Nelson will pitch for Arizona against Angels LHP Tyler Anderson.
Catch the game on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.