Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen burnt by home runs in loss to Dodgers

Aug 28, 2023, 11:01 PM | Updated: 11:03 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen (C) #23 meets with Geraldo Perdomo #2 and Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the mound in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Monday was not Zac Gallen’s night.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ ace surrendered a career-high four home runs and a season-high six earned runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 7-4 loss on the road.

Gallen said he felt sharp going into the outing, but the Dodgers (81-49) tagged him for two home runs in the first inning courtesy of Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy.

The D-backs (69-63) climbed back and took a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning on a two-run shot by Gabriel Moreno, his fifth extra-base hit in eight games.

Gallen grinded through a pair of jams to reach the sixth inning, but L.A.’s Jason Heyward and James Outman went back-to-back to regain the lead. The Dodgers’ bullpen locked it down from there, and they improved to an MLB-leading 22-4 this month.

“I felt solid going into the game,” Gallen said. “Bullpen felt really sharp, playing catch felt really sharp. Just didn’t really execute. It’s not like I went into that game feeling like I didn’t feel great. … So it’s frustrating.”

The right-hander had allowed one home run over his previous four starts after the long ball bit him seven times in five July appearances.

Gallen fell behind each of his last five hitters before manager Torey Lovullo turned to Bryce Jarvis with one out in the sixth. Lovullo felt his starter struggled to command his fastball at certain times. Gallen threw 56 strikes and 41 balls on the evening and walked three batters for the first time since July 15.

“I think there was some some uncharacteristic fastball misses for him,” Lovullo said. “Usually, he’s just spot on with his command. He made a couple mistakes to some good hitters and they hit home runs.”

Freeman and Outman’s home runs were off fastballs that caught a lot of the plate. Muncy, Heyward and Outman were all ahead of the count when they went yard.

It was a rude finish to what had been a stellar month for Gallen, as he entered Monday’s matchup with a 2.01 ERA across 31.1 innings in August.

Lovullo felt his dugout’s energy backslide after the sixth inning, as the offense mustered one hit after coming back in the fourth. The one happened to be quite loud, a Ketel Marte 117.1 mph double, the hardest hit ball by a D-backs player in the Statcast era (since 2015).

Gabriel Moreno’s surge

Moreno drove in Arizona’s first run with a double into left field in the second inning off Dodgers starter Bobby Miller, who allowed four earned runs in six frames.

His home run to right field gave him two hits for the sixth time in his last eight starts. Since returning from the injured list (shoulder), Moreno is 16-for-44 (.363) with seven extra-base hits in 12 games.

“First of all, it’s good to have him back,” Lovullo said. “You can feel the impact of having him back on the field. I think it’s an all-field approach. I think he’s behind the ball. He’s not swinging at bad pitches, and he’s just engaged and he’s using a very good hitting position. The feet are down, hands are back and the head is on the baseball and he’s making good baseball decisions.”

Arizona continued to rally after the home run with a bunt single by Jace Peterson and a base hit by Geraldo Perdomo, but Corbin Carroll and Marte failed to drive in another run. The top four hitters of the D-backs’ order — Carroll, Marte, Tommy Pham and Christian Walker — went 2-for-15 with a walk.

Kelly vs. Kershaw

Merrill Kelly gets the ball against Dodgers legend Clayton Kershaw. Kelly threw six scoreless innings against the Dodgers at Chase Field earlier this month, and he has a 2.08 ERA in August.

Kershaw faced the D-backs twice in April and allowed five earned runs in 12 innings. He has a 1.45 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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