Diamondbacks dominate each 1st inning of series win over Rockies

Alex Weiner
7 Min Read

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks scored at least two runs in the first inning of all four games against the Colorado Rockies, opening the season by taking three of four at Chase Field.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drove in the first run of every contest with two home runs, a double and finally a single that plated Corbin Carroll in Sunday’s 5-1 series finale win.

Carroll led off with a nine-pitch walk and did what he does by stealing second and taking third on an errant throw. Christian Walker followed Gurriel with a two-run home run.

The D-backs are the second team in major league history with multiple first-inning runs in each of the first four games to start a season (2001 Rockies).

“I’m doing my best to keep up with these other hitters, it’s a lot of protection in the lineup,” Walker said. “(Gurriel) has got us started early. Runs early always help take pressure off the starter, plus to have guys like we do going out there and being super competitive, it was great. Great series.”

In all three victories, the D-backs led the Rockies from the first through the ninth. Arizona won those games by a combined score of 28-5.

“Timely hitting, going for the throat and coming through and doing it the right way,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “There were some things we can improve upon, we didn’t play perfect baseball. We missed a couple of opportunities … (Colorado) was a very good team this spring training and I was just proud of the way we took care of our business.”

Lovullo mentioned situational hitting moments — six double plays the last two games — and pitch sequencing that can improve, but his message was the positives heavily outweigh the negatives thus far.

Brandon Pfaadt has impressive season debut

The Diamondbacks also have yet to give up a first inning run, so Arizona won the first 9-0 this series.

Three of Arizona’s four starting pitchers went at least five frames with one earned run in each.

Brandon Pfaadt had that distinction on Sunday, escaping a bases loaded jam to preserve a 3-1 lead in the fifth to end his day.

Pfaadt did not face much pressure until his final frame, only allowing three base runners to that point. He worked ahead with first-pitch strikes to 18 of 21 hitters, and he didn’t walk anyone.

Pfaadt also struck out six batters, four in a row at one point.

“We were executing pitches today, getting ahead,” Pfaadt said. “Obviously, it helps when the offense comes out early and scores. It releases pressure for the whole pitching staff.”

Diamondbacks sharp on defense

The D-backs’ defense significantly outplayed Colorado’s all series, from textbook plays to those beyond and that extended to Sunday. Gurriel delivered a strike for an outfield assist at second base from left field. Geraldo Perdomo made a diving play to end an inning.

Meanwhile, a “backbreaking” moment for Colorado came in the fifth, as left fielder Nolan Jones point blank dropped a Ketel Marte pop fly with two outs that scored a run. It also brought Gurriel back up, who roped a double to score Marte.

That was Gurriel’s 10th RBI. No D-backs player had driven in more than seven through the first four games of a season before. No home runs for Gurriel on Sunday, though, ending his streak at three games.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Walker said of Gurriel’s start. “That being said, he’s impressing me very much. We’re real happy to have him back. I’m glad it ended up working out and him being here for a little bit.”

Alek Thomas exits

Alek Thomas left the game after the third inning with left hamstring tightness after running down to first base on a double play in the first.

Thomas said he went back to the clubhouse to hit his leg with the massage gun and wanted to stay in, but he likened the sensation to post-cramp tightness. Lovullo said he wanted to be cautious this early by pulling the outfielder.

“Just felt tight probably like mid to the end of the way to first base,” Thomas said. “I feel like past two days I’ve been running as hard as I could to first. So maybe that one run strained it a little bit, but hopefully it’s not too bad.”

Lovullo said Thomas would get imaging Monday and it was too early to tell whether he’d be available to play.

Yankees come to Chase Field

For the first time since 2019, the New York Yankees will play at Chase Field in a meeting of two of MLB’s hottest teams through the opening weekend.

The Yankees won all four games of their series at the Houston Astros with newcomer Juan Soto reaching base 12 times.

Ryne Nelson will be tasked with facing New York’s lineup first, while the D-backs will see Yankees 25-year-old right-hander Luis Gil. Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly will start the following two games, respectively.

The series opener is Monday at 6:40 p.m. and will air on ESPN 620 AM and the Arizona Sports app. 

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Alex Weiner , arizonasports.com
Arizona Sports , 2024-04-01 01:13:00
Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks Stories
Tags: Phoenix Arizona Sports News | Phoenix Breaking Sports News, Home,Arizona Sports Now on 98.7 FM

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