Rebuilding mounds and jawing dugouts: Diamondbacks drop another weird game to Tigers

May 18, 2024, 10:22 PM | Updated: 10:22 pm

Starter Zac Gallen...

Starter Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Chase Field on May 18, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks’ TV broadcast caught some tension between Arizona manager Torey Lovullo and Detroit starter Jack Flaherty, as the two sides jawed from their respective dugouts toward the end of an 8-3 Tigers win at Chase Field on Saturday.

This occurred after Detroit put up six runs in the seventh inning to spoil what had been a Zac Gallen gem for the D-backs (21-25).

Lovullo did not comment on the specifics, but he made it clear postgame he was displeased with more than one instance.

“I thought there were some things coming out of their side that really rubbed us the wrong way,” Lovullo said. “Trust me, what you guys saw, I’m sure everybody saw wasn’t the first thing that happened. I can hold serve on one thing, but we felt like there was more than that situation that popped up and I’d had enough.”

The game had an odd dynamic between starting pitchers, as Gallen and Flaherty were not in agreement on how they wanted the mound to feel.

Flaherty dug out the dirt along the rubber, and between three different innings, grounds crew filled it back in at Gallen’s request to the umpires.

Gallen cited tightness in his hamstring that may have stemmed from his back foot being in a compromised position. Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said he’d never seen the mound fixes happen in a game not affected by weather.

“It just felt really dug out to me, and in the fourth inning my hamstring started to get tight on me,” Gallen said. “So it was more of an injury concern. I was having trouble getting my foot how I wanted it. … Last thing I want to do is come out of a game and potentially on the IL.”

“I didn’t have any issues with it,” Flaherty told reporters. “I know what was going on because I know Zac, but they let him continue to fix it every inning. I don’t know, man. I haven’t had another pitcher go against me who had the mound fixed like that.”

Neither side commented whether or not the jawing stemmed from the mound differences. Gallen said he was not sure if Flaherty took exception to it since he ran in to get hydrated and loosened up between innings.

Zac Gallen’s hamstring

Gallen said the tightness was in his right hamstring.

That was the same leg that caused him to exit a start in Seattle last month, but he said this instance felt different.

“It feels fine,” Gallen said. “I think just a little tight, I was able to push through it, obviously. So nothing too crazy, really. I think maybe just more a cramp-based. So, I hydrated pretty well.”

Zac Gallen had a gem before Detroit’s late ambush

Gallen was not only pushing through discomfort, but he was dominant through six shutout innings with four hits and eight strikeouts. The right-hander said postgame he continues to feel more like himself.

Arizona’s offense broke through in the bottom of the sixth off Flaherty. Ketel Marte tripled Corbin Carroll home to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games. Joc Pederson drove in Marte with a single to take a 2-0 lead.

Detroit responded right away with a Gio Urshela lead-off double, but Gallen struck out the next two hitters.

From that point on, Detroit’s offense went 10-for-16.

Javier Baez — who raised his average from .167 to .207 with seven hits the past two games — doubled in Urshela. Catcher Carson Kelly, Gallen’s battery mate from 2019-23, punched a fastball on the inside corner the other way for a game-tying single.

“Obviously, you gotta finish outings, but felt pretty good. Even the pitch that Carson, it was a pretty good pitch, I’d probably throw it again,” Gallen said. “For the most part, I made a lot of really good pitches tonight and it’s tough to get beat on an 80 mph single, but it just happens.”

Lovullo brought the hook, and that’s when the game really slipped.

Joe Mantiply entered and allowed a double, intentional walk and a bases-clearing triple hit by Wenceel Perez. Perez scored on an Urshela single off Justin Martinez, as the D-backs surrendered a six-spot for the second straight game.

Detroit finished with 14 hits after 17 knocks in Friday’s 13-0 win. The last time Arizona surrendered 14 hits in back-to-back games was in 2021 against the Dodgers.

“This was a tough loss, we had a lot going in our favor,” Lovullo said. “Zac was throwing the ball extremely well. We got into that seventh inning, I liked the matchups … we just didn’t execute in a lot of different ways in my opinion. We didn’t make quality pitches and they took advantage of it.”

Flaherty finished with six innings and two earned runs. The Diamondbacks have scored 13 runs over the first five games of this homestand.

Did Carson Kelly and Andrew Chafin get rings?

Before the game, Kelly and Tigers reliever Andrew Chafin received National League championship rings for their contributions to the Diamondbacks last season.

Corbin Carroll triples

Chase Field was packed for Mexican Heritage Night with over 35,000 fans in attendance. Carroll laced a triple down the right-field line in the fourth inning, his first of the season, and Chase Field had not been that loud since Opening Day.

Diamondbacks’ next game

The D-backs will play to avoid a sweep Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Jordan Montgomery will start for Arizona, while Matt Manning is probable for Detroit.

Catch the game on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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