Castellanos hits his way to 1st MLB victory

August 19th, 2021

PHOENIX -- Humberto Castellanos had been telling D-backs manager Torey Lovullo that he could hit.

"I mentioned to him that back in Mexico, I was a good hitter," Castellanos said. "I actually played third base. I told him that anything in the zone, I’ll be swinging."

That aggressive approach worked well for Castellanos both on the mound and at the plate as the right-hander picked up his first Major League win and a pair of hits in the D-backs' 4-2 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

Castellanos tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits en route to the victory.

"Attacking the batters right away from the jump," Castellanos said. "It’s what I’ve been doing right away all along."

Castellanos was recently recalled from Triple-A Reno after Merrill Kelly was placed on the injured list; Lovullo said Kelly tested positive for COVID-19.

In his one previous start for the D-backs this year, Castellanos tossed four scoreless innings against the Rockies on July 7. He also made seven relief appearances during that earlier stint in the big leagues.

"He came in very focused and ready and was on the attack," Lovullo said.

Castellanos notched his first big league hit when he singled to right in the second inning. He got his second hit in the fourth, driving home a run and giving the D-backs a 2-1 lead.

"The league is going to know it now," Lovullo said. "He's just a good hitter, there's no doubt about it. And he's been telling me about what a good hitter he's been in his at-bats in Reno. If you guys remember, in his last start, he lined out to right field. So he's been backing up that offensive talk that he's been throwing out there."

Castellanos almost did not wind up with the ball from his first hit. Josh Rojas was thrown out at the plate on the play to end the inning and Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto tossed the ball to a fan as he jogged off the field.

After some negotiation, the D-backs managed to get the ball back.

Arizona will go for the sweep of the three-game series Thursday afternoon.