ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks giving Zac Gallen 4th of July nod vs. Dodgers

Jun 30, 2024, 12:12 PM

Starter Zac Gallen...

Starter Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Chase Field on June 29, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks plan to get ace starter Zac Gallen pitching on every fifth day until the All-Star break, moving his next start up one game to Thursday — the Fourth of July — at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gallen returned from the 15-day injured list (hamstring) Saturday and threw six scoreless innings in a win over the Oakland Athletics.

Going through the rotation with Monday’s off day, his next start would have lined up for Friday at the San Diego Padres. Instead, Slade Cecconi will be moved back.

“(Gallen) was really pounding the table to get as many starts as he possibly could prior to the break,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “So we’re going to full throttle him. We’re going to go every fifth day with Zac, so you can plan that out.”

Every fifth day would give Gallen three more starts before the break instead of two, including a pair of outings at home against the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays.

Diamondbacks-Dodgers probables

Arizona’s rotation for Los Angeles will consist of Ryne Nelson on Tuesday, Jordan Montgomery on Wednesday and then Gallen.

The Dodgers will run out second-year starter Bobby Miller, rookie Gavin Stone and prospect Landon Knack in order.

Gallen made it a point of emphasis to stay mentally ready to pitch during his month on the IL, comparing it to the preparation before Opening Day. He allowed one hit and struck out seven Athletics on Saturday, feeling sharp with his delivery and arsenal.

“He had the right mentality for those 30 days where he was going to make progress and continue learning and growing,” Lovullo said.

“The slider showed up yesterday, the curveball was spot on and there was a little bit of extra velocity, so we know that’s in there. It just tells me that the delivery is synced up and he’s super strong. I’m grateful that he’s here but super proud of what he did, that’s all him.”

Gallen’s ERA dropped to 2.83 on the season. The D-backs will need him to stay sharp as they battle to remain in the wild card race at the midway point of the season with a banged up rotation. Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez remain a ways away. They are throwing out to 120 feet, and Rodriguez has an MRI on July 6 to determine when he can begin to throw off a mound.

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