Ryne Nelson’s road success continues, D-backs earn series win vs. Angels

Jul 1, 2023, 9:56 PM | Updated: 10:43 pm

Ryne Nelson...

Ryne Nelson #19 of the Arizona Diamondbacks after the third out against the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 01, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson threw his second straight road gem, while the offense did just enough to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 in Anaheim on Saturday night.

The D-backs (50-34) clinched a series victory with a chance to sweep L.A. (44-41) on Sunday heading into next week’s homestand.

Nelson got through the Angels’ lineup three times, allowing one earned run, three hits and one walk with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings. He had great command, especially with the fastball, and threw 57 of 84 pitches for strikes.

The rookie has been particularly effective lately on the road, allowing six earned runs in his last 36.1 innings away from Chase Field (1.49 ERA).

He threw seven one-run frames in his last start Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

Nelson struck out Angels stars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani four times combined, punching out Trout twice on heaters.

The righty sat down Ohtani the second time in the sixth inning on a high fastball at 95.8 mph.

“You try not to get a little like starstruck or whatever the term would be, but when I’m out there I don’t really see the hitter in the box,” Nelson said. “I see the catcher. I see what we’re trying to execute. So, for me, it’s blocking out that extra noise.”


Nelson leaned heavier than usual on the fastball at 58% on Saturday and it was effective. Eleven were put into play with an 88.6 mph average exit velocity along with six whiffs.

“He stood his ground and stood on his stuff and went out there and make pitches, and it showed up,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.

He allowed only one hit the first time through the order, but Los Angeles put a run on the board in the fourth inning on an Anthony Rendon solo home run.

Rendon’s shot came on a 2-0 fastball that the veteran brought his hands in to shoot just over the wall in left to grab a 1-0 lead.

Nelson allowed one more hit the rest of his start, and it was the second straight game Arizona received quality from a young pitcher. Tommy Henry tossed 5.2 one-run frames in Friday’s 6-2 win.

Arizona had a prime chance to counter Rendon’s homer with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, but Angels starter Tyler Anderson struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Christian Walker to end the threat and his night.

Rookie reliever Sam Bachman entered and allowed the first two runners to reach base in the sixth. With two outs, Dominic Fletcher sent a ground ball the other way that his brother, Angels shortstop David Fletcher, dove for and knocked down but could not corral.

A run scored to tie the game.

A Rendon throwing error brought in the go-ahead run, as Ketel Marte avoided first baseman Hunter Renfroe’s tag attempt at first.

“I knew something was gonna give,” Lovullo said. “We were just applying a lot of pressure. We had some traffic, and things were moving in a really good direction for us. Just somebody getting that big hit and happened to be Dom. Hits one by his brother, I’m sure they’ll be talking about that at some point tonight.”

Insurance came in the seventh, though, on a Jake McCarthy RBI, two-out triple, his fifth three-bagger of the season.

Gabriel Moreno scored after he singled and stole second. Moreno went 3-for-4 on Saturday with three singles. He has six hits in his last 11 at-bats after a difficult June at the plate (.480 OPS).


Andrew Chafin recorded the final two outs of the eighth, and Scott McGough bounced back from a rocky outing to record the save.

It did not come without drama, though, as McGough walked a pair with two outs to bring up the go-ahead run.

McGough struck out Renfroe to end the game.

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers both lost on Saturday, so Arizona extended its lead in the division to three games on second-place L.A.

Arizona is in first place on July 1 for the sixth time in team history.

Corbin Carroll update

Carroll (right shoulder soreness) did not play for the second straight day. Lovullo said Carroll was available off the bench after participating in batting practice.

Up next

Zac Gallen will take the hill in the series finale against L.A.’s southpaw Reid Detmers.

During the game, at 2:30 p.m., MLB will announced the All-Star Game pitchers and reserves. Gallen, Gurriel, Marte, Walker, Merrill Kelly and Geraldo Perdomo have all been among the top players at their positions this season.

First pitch is at 1:07 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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