Zac Gallen deals, D-backs beat Yankees in the rain to keep 2nd wild card spot

Sep 24, 2023, 2:30 PM | Updated: 9:01 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 24, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Diamondbacks and Yankees fit a game in on a rainy Sunday afternoon in New York, and Arizona ace Zac Gallen threw a gem.

Gallen finished six shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 7-1 D-backs (82-73) victory to even the series. Saturday’s game was postponed to Monday, and Sunday’s first pitch was delayed 50 minutes.

The grounds crew was busy to keep the infield and mound playable as rain picked up throughout the game. There are not many opportunities to make up games in the final week of the season, especially with Monday’s forecast in New York showing rain, too.

Arizona’s win kept it in the second National League Wild Card spot on a big day for fellow contenders. The Chicago Cubs (82-74), Miami Marlins (81-75) and Cincinnati Reds (80-77) all earned wins to keep the race air tight.

The D-backs also clinched their first winning season since 2019 when they finished 85-77. The Yankees, meanwhile, were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Zac Gallen’s outing

Gallen earned his second scoreless outing out of four starts, although he allowed 10 earned runs in 10 innings during the other two.

He eclipsed the 200-inning plateau for the first time in his career on Sunday, but manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday he did not believe Gallen was running out of gas.

The starter allowed a lead-off hit to DJ LeMahieu and retired the next eight hitters.

New York’s best chance to score early came in the bottom of the third. With two runners on, Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that ricocheted off the umpire. By rule, the play was called dead, and Gallen escaped the bases loaded jam.

Yankees star Aaron Judge, fresh off a three-homer game in Friday’s 7-1 win, struck out twice against Gallen, once swinging on a fastball and another looking at a knuckle curveball:

Gallen has one more start lined up this season against the Houston Astros at Chase Field next weekend.

D-backs offense picks up

Arizona gave Gallen run support in the first inning. Gabriel Moreno led off the game after Ketel Marte was a late scratch (illness), and he singled. Corbin Carroll followed with a hit, and both runners scored on consecutive sacrifice fly balls.

Yankees starter Carlos Rodon held the Diamondbacks to one hit from the second through sixth innings, but Arizona rallied for three runs on three hits in the seventh. Evan Longoria smashed a sharp grounder to left for a pair of RBIs.

Rodon finished with 6.1 innings and five runs allowed, three earned. Carroll and Tommy Pham picked up two hits each.

Merrill Kelly series finale

Weather permitting, Merrill Kelly will start on Monday for the D-backs in their final game at Yankees Stadium. Right-hander Clarke Schmidt will go for New York.

The D-backs then head to Chicago for three games against the White Sox, but starters have not been named.

First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 10:05 a.m. on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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