D-backs make Opening Day history with 14-run frame

'I've never seen anything like that,' said Lovullo of new franchise-best outburst

March 29th, 2024

PHOENIX -- The D-backs' faithful packed Chase Field with memories of the World Series still fresh in their minds -- and they were looking for any opportunity to shower the home team with affection.

They didn’t have to wait long.

After a two-run first inning, the D-backs ended any semblance of drama in a historic third as they sent 18 men to the plate and scored 14 runs off three Rockies pitchers in Thursday's 16-1 season-opening win.

The 14 runs scored in a single inning were the most scored by a team on Opening Day in the Modern Era (since 1900). It was also tied for the fourth-most runs scored by a team in an inning in the Modern Era.

The D-backs set club records for runs in an inning, hits in an inning and plate appearances in an inning.

Every hitter in the Arizona lineup collected at least one hit in the frame and drove in at least one run except for , who drew two walks and scored a pair of runs.

The final run of the epic frame came on rookie 's first Major League hit, an RBI single to center field.

and each drove in three runs in the frame.

It left those in the home dugout stunned.

“I've never seen anything like that,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

“I have never seen each guy get two at-bats in an inning,” D-backs starter said. “Maybe in Little League? Seriously, I don’t mean that as a slight, it’s just I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that happen.”

Another first for Gallen was that the half-inning took so long -- 34 minutes for those of you keeping track -- that he had to go in the batting cage located behind the home dugout and play catch twice during it just to stay loose.

Lovullo had two different conversations with Gallen over that timeframe to make sure that his ace was OK after such a long wait.

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland didn’t last the full inning as he was replaced by Anthony Molina, who in turn was replaced by Jalen Beeks.

“They put the ball in play,” Freeland said. “That's what hitters are paid to do -- put the ball in play, create action on the basepaths -- a lot of singles, and/or doubles, balls hit soft, seeing-eye ground balls. It was just everything that they were hitting.”

It was an Opening Day that D-backs fans will no doubt remember for a long time.

“When you draw up an Opening Day type of a game, this was probably times 10,” Lovullo said.

But it wasn’t just the offense that clicked for the D-backs.

Gallen gave up just one run over five innings and the defense came up big, with shortstop Geraldo Perdomo making an outstanding play, Alek Thomas running down a ball in center and first baseman Christian Walker picking balls at first base.

“The focus was there, the intensity was there, the intent was there from the first pitch on,” Lovullo said. “And that's what I was most proud of today.”

And the rookie, Alexander, capped the inning with a two-run single after flying out in his first at-bat of the frame.

It was Alexander’s first big league hit and it came one pitch after he thought he had drawn a walk and started heading down to first base. Instead, it was just ball three.

“I thought it was ball four and kind of embarrassed myself a little bit,” Alexander said. “But I made up for it with that RBI hit up the middle.”

It was yet another example of how nothing could go wrong for the D-backs in that inning.