Zac Gallen deals as D-backs snap 9-game losing streak
Aug 12, 2023, 10:10 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2023, 11:11 am
(AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX – Zac Gallen threw a gem as the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped their nine-game losing streak with a win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
“It’s just good to get a win,” D-backs (58-59) manager Torey Lovullo said. “We haven’t had this feeling in a while. And there’s a lot of excitement in that clubhouse and it’s good for me to see.”
41,351 fans showed up to Chase Field for the game as the team celebrated its 25th anniversary prior to first pitch and gave out throwback purple and teal jerseys. Former D-backs players were welcomed back to the ballpark, including team legends Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez. And the large crowd was able to witness a performance reminiscent of when Johnson toed the rubber and Gonzalez swung the bat in D-backs uniforms.
Many former players were welcomed back to Chase Field as part of the #Dbacks 25th Anniversary celebration. Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez were announced last. Johnson then handed the ceremonial first pitch ball to retiring radio voice Greg Schulte, who threw the pitch to Gonzo. pic.twitter.com/hMzIhsoyBv
— Jesse Morrison (@morrscode_) August 13, 2023
Gallen threw his first scoreless outing since May 30. He went six innings, gave up just four hits, walked only one batter and struck out eight. He threw 98 pitches, 66 of them for strikes and lowered his earned run average from 3.37 entering the day to 3.24 after his start. He picked up his first win since July 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates to improve to 12-5 in 2023.
“Starting to feel a little bit more like how I want to feel,” Gallen said.
“But still didn’t feel 1,000% great. But I feel like I had pretty decent feel. There’s always stuff to improve on so I’m going to watch the video but yeah, felt solid.”
Gallen was backed up by some early hitting by the D-backs’ bats. In the first inning, after a ground-rule double by Corbin Carroll, recently acquired left fielder Tommy Pham drove Carroll in with a double of his own to put the D-backs up 1-0.
In the third inning, Pham again doubled and then first baseman Christian Walker hit a two-run home run to right field to extend Arizona’s lead to 3-0.
“I think there’s a curiosity to see what we were going to be doing offensively,” Lovullo said.
“And it was everything I’d hoped for. It was that dynamic approach that I had mentioned yesterday where we were unpredictable. … We just had some really quality approaches all game long.”
The D-backs’ runs ended in the third inning but Gallen was able to be followed by three great innings from Arizona’s bullpen.
Miguel Castro pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Kevin Ginkel threw a 1-2-3 eighth and closer Paul Sewald secured his first save since being traded to the D-backs on July 31. Sewald allowed just one hit in an inning where he also had to face Padres (56-61) superstars Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts.
“Just thankful we finally won a game while I was here,” Sewald said.
“I don’t care if it’s going to be 22-0 or 1-0. Just winning a game was really all that I cared about at that point. So, the save was just a cherry on top.”
The D-backs currently sit three games back of the Chicago Cubs (61-56) for the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League.
Walker said he hopes the win Saturday can help the team get back to its winning ways.
“Every day is its own thing at this point,” Walker said. “We’re just talking amongst each other, taking it each inning, each at bat, each day as its own thing, trying to win every moment. But yeah, hopefully, keep the positivity going and hopefully it’s all good from here.”
The D-backs will try to grab a series win over the Padres on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Arizona time. Rookie Brandon Pfaadt (0-6, 7.16 ERA) will try once again to get his career going against San Diego righty Seth Lugo (4-6, 4.19 ERA).
All the action can be heard with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the Arizona Sports app, 98.7 and ArizonaSports.com.