PHOENIX -- Scoring runs on Zac Gallen at home is getting rarer than rain in the desert outside Chase Field.
Already leading the Majors with a 0.77 home ERA coming into the D-backs' game against the Rockies on Tuesday night, the right-hander spun six scoreless innings in Arizona’s 5-1 win. With his fourth spotless outing in six starts at Chase Field this season, Gallen lowered his home ERA to 0.66.
“Curveball felt a lot better than it had in the last few starts, really. Slider, same thing,” Gallen said. “I’m just trying to locate a fastball. First inning, I didn’t feel super sharp, but I was just trying to get better as the game went on.”
Gallen picked up his National League-leading seventh win in the process, improving to 7-2 with a 2.72 ERA overall this season. His dominance, however, stretches back well beyond the start of this season. Gallen's 2.07 ERA in 27 starts since July 13, 2022, is the lowest in the Majors during that span.
“He gets into that Zac mode and we all become Zac watchers,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of Gallen, who struck out seven, walked two and allowed just five hits. “He slows the game down and he’s in total control of what’s going on per at-bat and he starts to make pitches. He can lock it down.”
And the D-backs helped with plenty of offense -- using both power and speed.
Second baseman Ketel Marte, who was given the day off on Monday, led off the home half of the first with a homer off the left-field foul pole to increase his on-base streak to a career-best 28 straight games. It’s the second-longest active streak in the Majors, behind only Colorado's Jurickson Profar, who led the game off with a walk against Gallen to extend his own streak to 37 games.
Evan Longoria added a two-run homer later in the first inning, and Corbin Carroll belted his ninth home run in the sixth inning. The five runs kept Arizona as the third highest scoring NL club this season, behind the Dodgers and Braves.
And one night after swiping four bases on four attempts, the D-backs pulled off another 4-for-4 on the basepaths, all against Rockies catcher Elias Díaz. Jake McCarthy and Carroll each stole two bases. Arizona's 51 stolen bases this season trail only the Pirates (58) in the NL.
Carroll led off the fourth with a walk, then manufactured a run by stealing both second and third base before crossing the plate on Gabriel Moreno's sacrifice fly. With his 16 steals good for second among NL baserunners, Carroll says the team has its stealing strategy in place -- even if he had trouble sharing it.
“It starts before the game,” Carroll started to say, before getting playfully -- but cautiously -- shushed by his locker neighbor, Geraldo Perdomo, who added, "It’s a secret, man."
Carroll then continued: “We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we want to do and what we’re looking for before the game.”
Lovullo made the decision to pull Gallen from the game after 90 pitches in order to give his bullpen some work one night after Drey Jameson electrified with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
In Tuesday’s win, the bullpen mix of Scott McGough and Kevin Ginkel were nearly as good. Their bid for three scoreless innings of relief was spoiled by Nolan Jones’ solo homer off Ginkel with one out in the top of the ninth.
But it was a night when everything else went right for the D-backs, who have won three straight and seven of their past 10 to remain just 1 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers.
“This was one of those games, from a manager’s standpoint, [where] -- there’s always things to work on -- but so many things were done on a very good level today,” Lovullo said. “That resulted in us coming close to shutting out a pretty good offensive team.”