Escobar homers twice as D-backs' bats erupt

Seven-run first inning sets tone for rout in Texas

July 18th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Arizona’s bats exploded for 14 runs in the first three innings Wednesday night en route to a 19-4 blasting of the Rangers at Globe Life Park. The D-backs’ offense chased Rangers starting pitcher Jesse Chavez after just two-thirds of an inning.

, Kevin Cron and connected for home runs to stake to the big early lead.

“He’s [Chavez] a down-ball pitcher. Our guys had a good game plan,” D-backs’ manager Torey Lovullo said about the first inning. “They knew what they were going to look for, on what side of the plate they were going to be hitting to. You score that many runs in the first inning, you’re doing a lot of things right.”

The D-backs added three runs in the sixth inning on Escobar’s second home run of the night and picked up an unearned run in the seventh inning. It was the seventh career multi-homer game for Escobar, and the second time he’s homered from both sides of the plate.

The final Arizona run scored in the ninth inning when hit a solo home run off his catching counterpart Tim Federowicz, who made his Major League pitching debut.

The five home runs were three shy of the Arizona record, which was set just last month. The 19 runs scored is one shy of the all-time Arizona record, and the 21 hits are one less than the team record.

Ray gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out seven. He allowed three runs in the second inning when he gave up a lead-off single followed by back-to-back home runs from Danny Santana and Logan Forsythe. Santana hit a second home run in the sixth inning with no one on base to complete the Rangers’ scoring and keep Ray from earning a quality start.

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"That was pretty impressive those first three innings,” Ray said. “The bats really came alive. It’s really impressive. It’s tough sitting down for so long after you’ve gotten warm. But also the run support. You can’t beat it.”

As for his stuff, Ray said, “I felt really good. I felt like I threw the ball really well. A couple of unfortunate home runs. You saw how the ball was flying tonight. But overall, I felt like I threw it real well.”

Both teams came into this series on a two-game losing streak and scrambling to stay in the race for a Wild Card berth. The D-backs won the series largely because they scored 28 runs and also because they started two hot left-handed pitchers (Ray and Alex Young) to offset the Rangers’ heavily left-handed lineup.

As Lovullo said, “It’s not by accident that [we came] in here with a couple of lefties.”

It worked. Arizona won both games and heads home with a 3-2 record since the All-Star break and a 49-47 record that puts it squarely in the mix of teams trying to make the playoffs.