Gallen Extends Scoreless Inning Streak as Diamondbacks Blank Royals

Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks warming up before the seventh against the Royals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks 2, Royals 0

PHOENIX, Apr. 26 — Zac Gallen tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits while walking none and striking out 12, to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2–0 victory over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field. Gallen extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 28 in the victorious effort.

“It was one of those grinding afternoon games after a tough loss,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I think we were maybe having still a little bit of a hangover — I know I was having trouble letting last night’s game go. But for that reason, I was proud of the way we came out and fought. These aren’t the easiest games to play.”

Royals Threaten Early, but Diamondbacks Take Lead

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The Royals nearly ended Gallen’s scoreless streak in the very first inning. With one out, first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino lined a single to left and advanced to third on a single to center by designated hitter MJ Melendez. But Gallen struck out left fielder Edward Olivares and second baseman Michael Massey — the latter on a pitch in the dirt and 2–3 force play — to strand the runners and maintain the streak.

Both pitchers traded zeroes until the bottom of the fourth. Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera led off with a single to left and advanced to second on a single to center by left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. First baseman Christian Walker grounded into a 5–4–3 double play to give Yarbrough some breathing room, advancing Rivera to third in the process. Third baseman Evan Longoria made sure Rivera didn’t go to waste, breaking his bat on an RBI single to left. A walk by right fielder Corbin Carroll put Longoria in scoring position for shortstop Nick Ahmed, but a popup to the third baseman ended the inning with the Diamondbacks leading, 1–0.

It became a 2–0 game in the bottom of the fifth off new Royals pitcher Amir Garrett. Center fielder Alek Thomas led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Jose Herrera. Two batters later, Rivera punched a two-out single up the middle, plating Thomas.

Closing Out the Victory

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Meanwhile, Gallen continued his dominance. After allowing a leadoff single to right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the top of the third, he retired the next 12 batters in a row, nine by strikeout. In addition, he struck out the side in both the fourth and the fifth. The consecutive out streak ended when Olivares led off the seventh with a single to center. Massey reached by grounding into a 5–4 fielder’s choice force play.

This ended Gallen’s day after 97 pitches and 6 1/3 innings. In came Scott McGough, who retired center fielder Kyle Isbel on a fly to center and catcher Freddy Fermin on a side-retiring 5–4 fielder’s choice force play. Miguel Castro pitched around a two-out single by shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. in a scoreless eighth. Andrew Chafin closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth. Lovullo said the performance of the relievers was “fantastic.”

“It was a good win, good series win,” Lovullo said. “I want to enjoy the off day. Tomorrow, we’re going to Colorado once again. A team within our division, a team that we’re very familiar with. And a team that is dangerous, especially when they’re playing at home. So we gotta be ready to go. I don’t think we’ve been playing our best baseball. If you were to poll everybody in that (clubhouse) right now, all those players, I think, would all feel like they could do a little bit more and play a little bit better. That’s on me for that response. We’ll continue to serve our messages the best way we can to make sure that we’re ready to play our best baseball when it’s needed.”

Quick Hits

Royals catcher Freddy Fermin threw out Carroll on a stolen base attempt in the second inning. He is the first catcher in the majors to do so in 2023. Carroll had been 10-for-10 before that. … Gallen finished the game with 12 strikeouts, one shy of his career high. That came September 22, 2022, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. … Emmanuel Rivera contributed to both runs, scoring the first and driving in the second. Rivera joined the Diamondbacks August 1, 2022, when the Royals traded him for pitcher Luke Weaver. … Left-hander Madison Bumgarner has cleared waivers and has now been released by the Diamondbacks.

Looking Ahead

Gallen (4–1) earned the win, while Yarbrough (0–3) took the loss. Chafin notched the save, his fourth of the season. The Diamondbacks and Royals both have planes to catch, with the Royals heading straight to Minneapolis for a four-game series with the division-leading Minnesota Twins. Game One matches Royals right-hander Zack Greinke (0–3, 4.61 ERA) with Twins righty Tyler Mahle (1–2, 3.32 ERA). First pitch Thursday will be at 6:40 pm Central Time.

The Diamondbacks have Thursday off before opening a three-game weekend series with the Colorado Rockies Friday night in Denver. Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly (1–3, 3.42 ERA) will face Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland (2–2, 4.28 ERA). First pitch will be at 5:40 pm Arizona Time.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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