In his first career MLB start, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Taylor Clarke performed well.
The only issue?
The D-backs’ bats did not.
But that changed Saturday afternoon as the bats woke up and Clarke settled in for another quality start as the D-backs beat the Giants 10-4.
The pitcher, who was called up Saturday ahead of the team’s game against the San Francisco Giants, went 6.1 innings (100 pitches/64 strikes), allowing three earned runs and six hits in just his second career start. He also walked three and struck out four on his way to his first career MLB win. He’s now 1-1 on the season to go along with a save.
“To me, it looked like he was very effective with his fastball and was grinding to find his secondary stuff,” manager Torey Lovullo told reporters following the game. “It was a little bit of a gritty outing for me, he pitched into the seventh [inning] and I think he was pretty close to having the opportunity to get through seven.
“But it was a really, really strong outing because he didn’t have his best secondary stuff and you would have never known it.”
It’s a welcome sight for the D-backs, who are looking to find a permanent solution to the back end of the starting rotation.
With continued struggles from Zack Godley and Robbie Ray, the end of the rotation is in flux.
Between the two, Godley and Ray have accounted for just two quality starts in 19 games. They are a combined 5-5 in those starts.
Luckily for Arizona, starting pitchers Zack Greinke, Luke Weaver and Merrill Kelly have picked up the slack, registering 20 of the 24 quality starts from D-backs pitchers this season. Clarke has now accounted for two after Saturday’s showing.
And as good as Clarke was, Arizona’s offense was equally as effective.
After struggling to manufacture runs in Clarke’s first start, Arizona’s bats came alive in a big way, recording 13 hits and 10 runs as the D-backs rolled over the Giants 10-4 for a second straight game.
Leading the way was Ketel Marte.
The center fielder went 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run. He also recorded an RBI and scored two runs.
Tim Locastro, who was hit three times by pitches and recorded a single in Friday’s contest, chipped in two doubles and a walk. He also scored twice.
Recent call up Kevin Cron got into the action as well, recording his first career hit and RBI in his first start as a D-back.
The D-backs look to take the series sweep Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.
Listen to all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.