D-backs push winning streak to four games
SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Zack Godley won his second straight start to open his D-backs career as Arizona topped the Mariners, 8-4, on Tuesday night at Safeco FIeld.
Godley (2-0, 2.25 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits -- including tape-measure home runs by Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz -- in six innings, but he got plenty of offensive support as the D-backs racked up 12 hits and a home run of their own from Ender Inciarte. Arizona has won four in a row to improve to 48-51.
"I think the ball was just moving a lot. He got hurt when he was up. The two home runs were hit pretty far, but those were up in the zone," said D-backs manager Chip Hale. "He's learning that if he keeps the ball down, he got a ton of ground balls and a lot of movement, so that caused him to throw more balls tonight."
Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2, 5.10 ERA) was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings as the Mariners fell to 46-55.
"His command was just not where it needed to be," said Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. "I thought his velocity was good, he just left a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate. When he was trying to go in, it ran out over the plate. Just not very good command tonight, right from the start."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Peralta plates a pair: D-backs left fielder David Peralta had not driven in a run in his last five games entering Tuesday, but he quickly raised his season RBI total to 45. Peralta roped a single to left in the first to drive in A.J. Pollock and sliced a double past Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley in the third to score Paul Goldschmidt and give the D-backs a 2-0 lead. In just two at-bats, Peralta had his fourth multi-RBI game of July.
"We executed well. With men in scoring position, we were doing our stuff and we did a little bit of everything today," Peralta said. "It was a good game for everybody."
Extra zest for Zunino: The Mariners' young catcher continued his recent hot stretch at the plate with gusto, blasting a leadoff home run in the third inning that was projected by Statcast™ to land 452 feet from home plate. Though measurements are unofficial, that stands as the third-longest blast in Safeco Field history behind a 462-foot shot by Barry Bonds in 2006 and a 460-footer by Raul Ibanez in '07. Zunino went 1-for-4 and now has an eight-game hit streak during which he's batted .393 (11-for-28) with four doubles, a homer and six RBIs to hike his average from .158 to .181. More >
Sixth-inning success: Arizona sent eight batters to the plate and notched five hits in a three-run sixth inning, extending the D-backs' lead to 6-1 and knocking Iwakuma out of the game. Goldschmidt, Peralta, Jake Lamb and Chris Owings all laced singles off Iwakuma before a ground-rule double to left by shortstop Nick Ahmed scored Lamb to give the D-backs their sixth run.
"We were really good at getting Iwakuma up," Hale said. "Those balls in the dirt, you have have to lay off of them, and I thought we did a nice job of getting him up and getting hits off him. It was very impressive."
Cruz can play that game, too: When it comes to long balls, Cruz can hold his own with anyone. The Mariners' designated hitter nearly matched Zunino's bomb with a homer of his own leading off the sixth that was projected by Statcast™ to land 440 feet away, landing in nearly the same spot above the out-of-town scoreboard in left field. Cruz's homer was his 26th of the season and fifth during his current eight-game hitting streak.
"We just did it today. We've been talking about that and it's over." -- Peralta, on the D-backs driving in runners in scoring position after struggling in past games
"I try not to worry about it. I try not to think about it. All I can do is take care of what's ahead of me right now, which was today. And today I wasn't able to pitch my game, which I regret. But I have to bounce back and pitch a good game on Sunday." -- Iwakuma, on dealing with trade speculation as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pollock singled and swiped second in the first inning to become the first player to steal a base off Iwakuma since Jarrod Dyson of the Royals on Sept. 25, 2013. The right-hander went 35 starts and 239 baserunners without giving up a free bag. Most runners are reluctant to even try to run on the veteran, as opposing thieves were 0-for-8 last season and 0-for-1 in Iwakuma's first seven starts this year.
D-backs: Left-hander Patrick Corbin (1-3, 3.68 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season on Wednesday in the D-backs' series finale against the Mariners at 12:40 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Corbin notched season highs in strikeouts (10) and innings pitched (seven) in Arizona's 2-1 loss to the Brewers on Friday night.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (12-5, 2.69 ERA) will attempt to become the American League's first 13-game winner as the Interleague series wraps up at Safeco. Hernandez is 3-2 with a 1.51 ERA over his last seven starts. Hernandez is 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in two career outings against the D-backs.
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