Grit Index: D-backs win Game 1 of doubleheader against Rangers
The Diamondbacks took Game 1 of their doubleheader against the Rangers at Chase Field 5-3 on Monday afternoon.
Tyler Skaggs earned the win, throwing six solid innings and shutting down a Texas offense that owned the fourth best batting average in the Majors at .270 coming into the game.
Skaggs was called up to replace scheduled starter Ian Kennedy. Kennedy cut his finger on a knife while doing dishes on Thursday. Skaggs is the designated 26th player on the roster, which is allowed when a team is playing a doubleheader, therefore the team does not need to make a corresponding move. Skaggs will be sent back to Triple-A Reno after Monday's first game.
As for Arizona's offense, veteran Martin Prado continued his success at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning, giving him a hit in seven straight at-bats, which tied a club record. The last D-backs' player to accomplish the feat was Eric Byrnes in 2007. Cody Ross, Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Eric Hinske also recorded RBIs with Ross' coming on a solo home run in the fifth inning. It was his second longball of the season.
Lefty Martin Perez was making his first start for the Rangers this season and he was chased from the game after just 5.1 innings of work. He allowed all four runs but only three were earned.
The Rangers tried to rally in the ninth, scoring all three of their runs, but in the end Heath Bell was able to close it out and get Skaggs the win.
Skaggs made his 10th career Major League start Monday and he made quite the impression. After struggling in spring training and to start the season in Triple-A, Skaggs recorded a career-high nine strikeouts at the Big League level. He allowed 0 earned runs on three hits with only three walks. Skaggs threw 102 pitches through six innings and 66 of those pitches were strikes.
Skaggs came into Monday's game with a 5.23 ERA in nine games in Reno. But in his last three starts, he was showing improvement with a 2-1 record and a 2.66 ERA. He was 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA in six starts with the D-backs last season. He earned his first Major League win in his Big League debut on the first game of a doubleheader last season against the Marlins.
With Skaggs pitching just six innings and Tony Sipp struggling in the ninth, the D-backs dipped into their bullpen a good deal in Game 1. Will Harris, David Hernandez, Tony Sipp and Heath Bell combined to pitch a total of three innings and close out the game. Matt Reynolds, Brad Ziegler and Josh Collmenter are the remaining relievers that did not pitch at all in Game 1.
Monday's doubleheader is the only scheduled twinbill in Major League baseball this season and the first scheduled doubleheader since May 28th, 2012 when the Rockies played the Astros.
This is the second doubleheader for the D-backs at Chase Field. They also played two on August 23rd, 2012 against the Marlins due to a scheduling conflict.
He Said It
"Felt good. Felt like I was throwing everything for strikes and getting ahead is the key. I felt very comfortable with the team. Everything played off my fastball," Skaggs said. "I knew what this was going to be. Kind of a last minute thing and happy that they called me up and had the confidence in me."
The D-backs play the Rangers in Game 2 of this doubleheader on Monday night. Trevor Cahill will get the start for Arizona. He's 3-5 this season with a 2.81 ERA and this is his 16th career start against the Rangers. Yu Darvish will go for Texas. He's 7-2 with a 2.84 ERA this year. First pitch is slated for 6:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.
Kyndra de St. Aubin, Reporter - Arizona Sports 620
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