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Ray's gem, 8-run inning seal sweep for D-backs

Ahmed exited game in third with left foot soreness, a day-to-day issue
June 9, 2019

TORONTO -- All it took was one big inning for the D-backs to secure the series sweep on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Arizona sent 11 men to the plate in the third inning, chased starter Clayton Richard from the game and piled on all eight of their runs en

TORONTO -- All it took was one big inning for the D-backs to secure the series sweep on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Arizona sent 11 men to the plate in the third inning, chased starter Clayton Richard from the game and piled on all eight of their runs en route to an 8-2 win over the Blue Jays. All nine starters reached base at least once as the D-backs combined for 10 hits and seven walks.

The D-backs found their offense in a variety of places over the weekend in Toronto, but one of the constants has been slugger Kevin Cron. After launching his first career Major League home run in the series opener and his second on Saturday, Cron ripped a two-run single into left field in the third inning on Sunday.

Box score

Tim Locastro delivered the most electrifying play of the day with a bases-loaded triple, flashing his speed as his hit extended the lead to 6-2. Eduardo Escobar also continued his career year with three hits, including a double.

“There were two key at-bats,” said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo after the win. “It was Kevin Cron with the big base hit to put us ahead, and then Locastro’s triple down the left-field line that really broke it open.”

Carson Kelly and Ketel Marte each chipped in a solo home run to round out a D-backs attack that had a little bit of everything. Marte’s homer was his 15th of the season, already setting a career high in his 64th game of the season. Kelly’s shot was a skyscraper, leaving the bat with a 38-degree launch angle and reaching a peak of 124 feet.

Kelly had struck out to lead off the inning, so he was feeling the pressure not to be responsible for two of the three outs by himself. “I made sure not to get out twice in one inning,” Kelly said, laughing by his locker. “It was a mad swing because I didn’t want to get out again.”

Those third-inning fireworks overshadowed a fine outing from Robbie Ray, who allowed a run in each of the first two frames but then settled in to wind up with a strong 6 2/3-inning performance. Ray allowed just five hits and struck out 10, his third double-digit strikeout game of the season. The outing lowered his ERA to 3.54.

“When you pitch into the seventh inning, you give yourself a chance to do what he did -- 10 strikeouts once again, you know that you’re doing something special,” Lovullo said. “A lot of credit goes to him.”

Ahmed exits in the third

Shortstop Nick Ahmed was removed from Sunday afternoon’s game in the third inning with left foot soreness, the D-backs announced.

Lovullo said after the game that no X-rays are expected and that this will be a minor, day-to-day issue.

Ahmed singled in the second and took his position at shortstop in the bottom half of the inning, but Jarrod Dyson pinch-hit for him in the third.

The soreness, according to Lovullo, first flared up on Saturday. Ahmed had hoped that he could come back after a night’s sleep and play through it.

The 29-year-old has appeared in 65 of Arizona’s 66 games this season, hitting .268 with 18 doubles, which tied him for sixth in the National League entering play on Sunday. Dyson remained in the game and took over in center field, while Marte moved in from the outfield to play shortstop.