D-backs’ Brandon Pfaadt and Corbin Carroll deliver vs. White Sox, magic number drops to 3

Sep 27, 2023, 2:04 PM | Updated: 3:53 pm

Brandon Pfaadt...

Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates in the dugout after being relieved in the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 27, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot dropped to three after they beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on the road Wednesday afternoon.

Rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt threw 5.2 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, while Corbin Carroll drove in a pair of runs to give Arizona (84-74) an early lead.

Wednesday was Arizona’s first shutout victory since Sept. 8 when Zac Gallen blanked the Chicago Cubs.

The D-backs took care of business with back-to-back wins against the 98-loss White Sox and sit in the second National League Wild Card spot.

Chasing them are the Chicago Cubs (82-75), Miami Marlins (81-75) and Cincinnati Reds (81-77), who all play Wednesday. Arizona’s game started and wrapped up first, while the Marlins are participating in a doubleheader at the New York Mets.

The D-backs have four games left in the regular season.

Brandon Pfaadt, bullpen get it done

Pfaadt was sharp early, sitting down the first six batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts.

The rookie pounded the zone with 63 strikes on 87 pitches and no walks during his outing. Chicago did not get a runner to third base against Pfaadt, who produced 14 whiffs on 47 swings (30%).

Manager Torey Lovullo has kept his starters beside Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly around 18 hitters lately. With the D-backs turning to a bullpen game on Thursday and the way Pfaadt was dealing, Lovullo gave his starter some more length with 23 hitters.

Pfaadt exited with two runners on and two outs in the sixth inning after he committed a throwing error.

His eight punch outs tied a career high, and in two of Pfaadt’s last three outings, he’s gone at least five innings with no earned runs.

Pfaadt’s ERA since he rejoined the rotation on July 22 has dropped to 4.22.

The D-backs designated veteran starter Zach Davies for assignment on Wednesday and recalled reliever Justin Martinez. Since they used Ryne Nelson in a long relief role on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks are currently running a three-man starting rotation.

Pfaadt would not get normal rest for any start the rest of the way, as Sunday is the season finale against the Houston Astros. He could line up for Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series if the Diamondbacks get there and if Arizona uses both Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly over the weekend against Houston.

If the D-backs clinch early, they can readjust.

The D-backs relied on Luis Frias, Andrew Saalfrank, Ryan Thompson and Paul Sewald out of the bullpen, and they provided 3.1 scoreless frames. Sewald had not pitched since Sept. 19 and picked up the save.

Saalfrank extended his streak with no earned runs to 9.2 innings since making his MLB Debut.

Corbin Carroll joins short list with Ichiro Suzuki

Carroll roped a double to right-center field in the third inning, scoring a pair of runs to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead.

He came around to score an a Tommy Pham RBI single ripped into left field.

Carroll on Wednesday became the first rookie with 280 total bases and 50 steals since Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins in 2006, according to Stathead.

The feat has only been accomplished five times, including by Ichiro Suzuki of Carroll’s hometown Seattle Mariners. That was in 2001, so Carroll was about a year old when it happened.

The other two were Juan Samuel in 1984 and Benny Kauff in 1914

Carroll finished the game 1-for-4.

After a 12-hit parade in Tuesday’s 15-4 win over the White Sox, the D-backs only racked up four hits on Wednesday.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scratched

The D-backs made a late lineup change, scratching left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for Jake McCarthy. The club announced Gurriel was removed with left shoulder discomfort.

D-backs’ final road game

The Diamondbacks conclude their three-game set at the White Sox on Thursday at 11:10 a.m. after a scheduling switch-up over the weekend. Arizona’s Saturday game against the New York Yankees was rained out and moved to Monday, so its series against the White Sox was pushed back, eliminating an off day.

Former Diamondbacks prospect Touki Toussaint (5.10 ERA) will start for Chicago. Toussaint started against Arizona as a member of the Cleveland Guardians earlier this season, allowing two earned runs and five walks in 3.2 innings.

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D-backs’ Brandon Pfaadt and Corbin Carroll deliver vs. White Sox, magic number drops to 3