Gabriel Moreno, Diamondbacks jump on Rangers’ Montgomery in World Series Game 2
Oct 28, 2023, 6:13 PM | Updated: 8:27 pm
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly had rolled through three innings Saturday before the top of the fourth saw Arizona’s offense finally jump on Texas Rangers counterpart Jordan Montgomery in Game 2 of the World Series in Arlington, Texas.
Catcher Gabriel Moreno hit a one-out, solo home run to center field, and the damage done didn’t end there.
With two outs, Arizona teammate Tommy Pham doubled to right field before outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled him home with a line drive that found its way to left field for a 2-0 lead through four frames.
The D-backs would never trail in the 9-1 win as they battered Texas’ bullpen with multi-run frames in the seventh, eighth and ninth to pull away.
Moreno’s shot, however, held some significance for the upstart Diamondbacks.
It gave Arizona the most home runs in a team’s single postseason by players 23 years old or younger (12), according to MLB’s Sarah Langs.
It also put Moreno in a unique bucket individually. Only seven other catchers have recorded at least four home runs in a single postseason, and with it, he was one more away from tying the record set by Sandy Alomar Jr. (1997), according to ESPN Stats & Info.
After four innings, the D-backs were set up well with Kelly sitting at 43 pitches — 32 for strikes — and four strikeouts with one hit allowed.
Montgomery, despite the pair of runs scored on him, had allowed five hits to that point but was still up for an efficient evening at 45 pitches thrown himself.
Texas, however, got to him in the bottom of the fifth, with Mitch Garver hitting a solo homer to cut into the lead.
Arizona rebuilt a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, when lefty Alek Thomas doubled for his second hit of the day — he was a surprise starter against the left-handed Montgomery. Evan Longoria singled Thomas home with no outs and then reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Geraldo Perdomo.
Corbin Carroll singled to score Longoria, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead.
Pham’s fourth hit in as many at-bats, a single, began an eighth inning that blew the game open.
Gurriel followed with a sac-bunt, Emmanuel Rivera and Perdomo walked, and Ketel Marte and Carroll consecutively singled to tally a three-run inning and 7-1 lead. Arizona added two more in the ninth.