The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t waste any time breaking this game open.
Ketel Marte and Alex Avila each hit two-run homers and the Diamondbacks scored eight runs in the first three innings to power their way to a 9-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
”We just did a good job of being aggressive in the zone Titans Elite Jerseys ,” Arizona center fielder Jon Jay said. ”You saw guys put some good barrels on balls and we were ready to hit right from the start.”
Marte’s blast capped a three-run first, while Avila’s shot in the third extended the NL West-leading Diamondbacks’ advantage to 8-0.
Jay doubled in each of the first two innings, the second of which drove in two runs. The center fielder is hitting .340 in 13 games since being acquired June 6 from Kansas City in a trade.
”I feel very fortunate to have been traded here,” Jay said. ”It’s a great group of guys who know how to go about their business. You can see why this team is successful.”
Staked to the early cushion, Zack Godley (8-5) won his third straight start. He gave up three runs – two earned – and four hits in six innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
”A lot of times it’s hard to pitch in games like this because you can lose your concentration with the big lead, but he kept making pitches,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
Godley, though, said he didn’t feel any pressure in trying to hold the eight-run advantage.
”Heck, I’ll take eight runs in the first three innings every time,” he said with a smile.
Avila finished with three RBIs as he also doubled home a run in the ninth. The veteran catcher entered the game hitting .109.
Chad Kuhl (5-5) lasted just two-plus innings and was lifted following Avila’s homer. Kuhl was tagged for eight runs and eight hits after allowing three earned runs or less in seven of his previous eight starts.
”I don’t think balls were coming out (of his hand) as they have for whatever that reason may be,” Kuhl said. ”I just felt like tonight was a little bit different. They hammered balls over the plate. You just try your best to move on from this one.”
Kuhl was supposed to pitch Wednesday night against Milwaukee but the game was rained out after a delay of slightly more than two hours. Lovullo thought that might have worked in the Diamondbacks’ favor.
”He had to reverse his game plan,” Lovullo said. ”He thought he was starting against the Brewers and then he had less than a day to prepare for us. That’s difficult.”
Pittsburgh rookie Austin Meadows had three hits.
Daniel Descalso’s sacrifice fly brought home the game’s first run before Marte followed with his sixth home run into the right-field stands. Paul Goldschmidt singled in Jay in the second to make it 6-0.
Francisco Cervelli hit an RBI single in the fourth inning for the Pirates. Starling Marte doubled in a run and scored on Colin Moran’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
The Diamondbacks have scored 35 runs in going 3-1 against Pittsburgh this season.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery) rejoined the team following four minor league rehab starts and is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list Monday to pitch at Miami. Miller was injured April 22, 2017, while facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will take the rotation spot of RHP Matt Koch, who was optioned to Triple-A Reno, while RHP Jake Barrett was recalled from the Aces to provide extra bullpen help and got the final out.
Pirates: RHP AJ Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) has started playing catch on flat ground at the team’s spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida. The reliever has been on the DL all season.
TIME TO MAKE UP
Wednesday’s rainout will be made up July 14 when the Pirates and Brewers play a traditional doubleheader starting at 12:35 p.m. ET.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (6-5, 3.48 ERA) is 1-2 with a 5.90 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (4-5 Redskins Elite Jerseys , 4.42) has won both starts with a 1.54 ERA since being activated from the DL on June 10. He missed two weeks with a sprained right ring finger.
It’s not uncommon for Colorado Rockies pitchers to have better statistics on the road than at mile-high Coors Field.
But right-hander German Marquez, who is scheduled to start his team’s series opener Friday night in Seattle, is taking it to the extreme.
Marquez (6-8, 5.14 ERA) is 4-3 with a 2.76 ERA on the road, which ranks fourth in the National League. Opponents are batting .194 against him on the road, with a .600 on-base plus slugging percentage.
At home? Marquez is 2-5 with a 7.93 ERA, a .345 batting average against and a .991 OPS.
In his last start, the 23-year-old Venezuelan pitched a career-high-tying eight innings in a 3-1 road victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed two hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine.
Marquez threw a 99.9 mph fastball in his final inning, the hardest by a starter in the eighth inning or later this season.
“I work hard between starts, and my goal is to maintain my stamina throughout the game, deep in games,” Marquez told MLB.com after that game.
Rockies manager Bud Black, a former major league pitcher, certainly seemed impressed with Marquez’s four-pitch mix, that includes the fastball, curve, slider and changeup.
“He’s capable because we’ve seen moments and innings and certain stretches of games where he’s pitched like that through three, four Cardinals Game Jerseys , five innings,” Black said. “But to do it eight innings on the road against a good team, it’s not surprising, but it’s a big step for a young pitcher.”
Marquez, who was born in San Felix, will likely get a chance to face King Felix as he takes on the Mariners for the first time.
Fellow Venezuelan Felix Hernandez (8-6, 5.11 ERA) has struggled this season, but has won his past two starts. He’s 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in one career start against the Rockies.
Hernandez allowed three first-inning runs against Kansas City in his last start while dealing with a stiff back, but followed that with four scoreless frames in a 6-4 Seattle victory.
Hernandez hurt his back lifting weights in Baltimore on the Mariners’ last road trip. He threw a short bullpen session Tuesday.
“I’m better,” Hernandez told MLB.com before playing catch in the outfield Thursday. “(Wednesday) was much better and I’m more loose today, so I’ll be fine.”
Said Mariners manager Scott Servais: “I think he’ll be OK. He’s getting treatment on it and trying to get it loosened up. I don’t think it’s anything structurally wrong, it’s just tight. We need him to go. Hopefully he’ll give us a good effort.”
The Mariners placed catcher Mike Zunino on the 10-day disabled list (bruised left ankle) Thursday and recalled David Freitas from Triple-A Tacoma.
Chris Herrmann, who has made six starts since being called up May 27, will likely get the bulk of the time behind the plate. Herrmann has mostly caught Mike Leake, but also caught Hernandez’s June 25 start in Baltimore.
Hermann homered Thursday in Seattle’s 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“Thankfully with all the video and information we have here, it makes it a lot easier to get to know the pitchers a lot better,” Herrmann told MLB.com. “And I sit in here and talk with these guys and get an idea of how they want to get hitters out.”