Zac Gallen, D-backs look to take rubber match with Orioles on Sunday

Sep 3, 2023, 11:48 AM | Updated: 5:56 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks stands on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning 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)

Zac Gallen will take the mound against the Baltimore Orioles Sunday afternoon at Chase Field as the Arizona Diamondbacks continue jostling for position in the National League Wild Card race.

Gallen (3.32 ERA) is set to face Jack Flaherty (4.73 ERA) in the rubber match of the three-game series. Arizona took Friday’s ballgame 4-2, and Baltimore responded with a 7-3 victory on Saturday.

In his last start, Gallen 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. In a good sign for a potential bounce-back game, he has a 2.96 ERA in starts following a four-earned run outing.

The D-backs are looking to secure their sixth series in their last seven. The D-backs’ 11-6 record (.647) since Aug. 15 is third best in the NL behind the Braves (13-3) and Dodgers (12-5).

Christian Walker out of lineup

Christian Walker and Corbin Carroll have had the hot hands on offense. Walker leads the Diamondbacks with 64 extra base hits (34 doubles, a triple and 29 home runs). Corbin Carroll is 13-for-34 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and four RBI over the past 10 games.

Walker is not in the starting lineup Sunday after getting plunked on his right elbow on a 96 mph sinker by Orioles starter Kyle Bradish in the third inning. Pavin Smith got the start.

“We’re gonna give him through the rest of the night and see how it feels in the morning,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame Saturday. “It’s a quick turnaround. I’ve been hunting for a day off for him. So maybe tomorrow is a good one. So we’ll see how he feels, but he’s going to be very sore tomorrow.”

Gabriel Moreno in his last eight home games is hitting .407 with a 1.133 OPS, including four multi-hit efforts. He’ll start Sunday’s game on the bench as Jose Herrera got the start.

The D-backs made a late lineup change, slotting Evan Longoria into the cleanup spot at designated hitter instead of Tommy Pham.

Orioles top performers

Catcher Adley Rutschman leads the Orioles offense with 22 doubles, a triple and 17 home runs while hitting .274. Designated hitter Anthony Santander is 15-for-41 with four doubles and five home runs over the past 10 games.

Rutschman went 2-for-5 with a home run on Saturday. Santander exited the game after getting hit with a pitch in the hand, but he was back in the lineup on Sunday.

Over their past 10 games, the Orioles are 7-3, with team stats of .281 batting average, 3.44 ERA. Over that span they have outscored opponents by 22 runs.

Up next for D-backs

The Diamondbacks welcome the Colorado Rockies into Chase Field beginning on Labor Day Monday at 1:10 p.m.

Merrill Kelly is expected to get the start, with Brandon Pfaadt on Tuesday and Zach Davies on Wednesday.

Sunday starts a stretch of six day games out of eight contests for the D-backs, who head to Chicago to face the Cubs after the Rockies series.

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