Diamondbacks’ offense continues to rally, Ryne Nelson sharp in win over White Sox

Jun 14, 2024, 10:18 PM

Randal Grichuk...

Randal Grichuk #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides safely into home plate to score a run during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Chase Field on June 14, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have been on a roll with the bats over the past week, and they put up runs in a multitude of ways Friday for a 7-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Manager Torey Lovullo said before first pitch his vision is to be a diverse offense that can get 9-11 hits, 4-5 walks and generate traffic. His team showcased that vision.

Arizona (34-36) scored seven runs on 10 hits with three walks on Friday. It broke the game open by the fourth inning, giving a White Sox club on pace to lose 120 games this year no window to steal it back.

“Offensively, there were some really good days but a lack consistency, maybe to be expected early in the year,” Lovullo said postgame. “We’re really striding out a little bit right now. I think we’ve been very consistent waiting for our pitch. I think we had 12 or 13 base runners, that’s healthy.

“This is a tough league. You can’t assume any win is going to be handed to you. When you go out and you play the type of game we did, we can be very unpredictable and beat you in a lot of different ways, and I think that’s what happened today.”

The D-backs’ offense has produced 39 runs on 55 hits over the last five games (4-1 record).

Catcher Tucker Barnhart drove the first two runs in with a bases-loaded single off White Sox starter Chris Flexen in the second inning.

Then came the chaos, as Joc Pederson singled, stole second on a huge jump and nabbed third on a wild throw. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. poked a single to center with two outs to score the run.

Slug was next, as Eugenio Suarez blasted a solo shot in the fourth inning on a 3-0 count. Suarez reached base three times after doing so twice on Thursday, a welcome sight for a player trying to climb out of an early-season hole.

“Everybody was genuinely excited for him,” Lovullo said. “He’s working his butt off.”

The homer sparked a rally of four straight hits, and the D-backs chased Flexen before he could escape the fourth inning. Arizona was up 6-1 after four.

Pederson popped another solo shot in the seventh inning for good measure, sending it 425 feet on the 10th pitch of a stellar at-bat.

Diamondbacks RHP Ryne Nelson sets career high

Ryne Nelson set the tone, getting through six innings with one earned run and a career-high eight strikeouts. He produced 13 whiffs, his second highest number this season (16 against the Braves on April 7).

“Felt like I was jumping ahead of guys and also just throwing a good mix out there today,” Nelson said. “Felt like the curveball and the slider were both really good tonight and mixed the changeup in there too. It allowed a little bit more freedom with the fastball.”

Nelson acknowledged Friday was the best his entire mix came together this season. He got swings-and-misses with all five pitches he threw.

Consistency with his offspeed pitches and avoiding being too fastball heavy have been key themes since last season.

Nelson ran into some trouble in the second inning and allowed the one run. From there, he threw four scoreless innings with three hits and six strikeouts. He walked one batter all night, the lone run.

“We’ve been working really hard on getting those secondaries locked in, and I think tonight was the first step in being able to confidently use them like that and expanding with them,” Nelson said.

The D-backs have received back-to-back quality starts, as Brandon Pfaadt also worked six innings with one earned run on Thursday. The last time Arizona had consecutive quality starts was May 24-25 (Zac Gallen and Jordan Montgomery against the Marlins).

Diamondbacks’ next game

The D-backs will send Scott McGough to the mound as an opener Saturday at 7:10 p.m. Tommy Henry is an option for bulk innings.

The White Sox (18-53) will start Erick Fedde, who has had a strong season coming back from pitching in Korea in 2023 (3.10 ERA).

Catch the game on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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