The Arizona Diamondbacks lead the majors in runs and hits.
During spring training, manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks reminded listeners that his team will score runs. Given the potency of the Arizona offense over recent years, and with outfielders A. J. Pollock and David Peralta back healthy, this team was destined to cross the plate often.
True to the expectations, the Diamondbacks have emerged as the one of the top scoring teams in the early going. With a team batting average of .267, the Diamondbacks lead the majors in runs scored, hits and triples. They are second in stolen bases, third in extra base hits, batting average and fifth in on-base-percentage.
Perhaps the most surprising category is home runs. While not among league leaders, they managed to set a franchise mark for most consecutive games hitting a home run in the first inning. After Paul Goldschmidt reached the seats in the opening frame Tuesday night during an eventual 9-3 victory over the San Diego Padres before 17,531, that marked the fifth straight game, a club record, the Diamondbacks homered in first inning.
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The last team to accomplish that feat was the 2005 Chicago White Sox. Commenting on the first inning homers, Goldschmidt told Venom Strikes that the home run barrage is occurring “completely at random. It’s something that just happened.”
For now, the bats have provided thunder in the Diamondbacks surge to the top of the majors. Goldschmidt each reached base five times Tuesday night, A. J. Pollock reached base four times, Yasmany Tomas three times plus a sacrifice fly and Daniel Descalso added a homer to lead off the fifth inning. Afterward, Goldschmidt told Venom Strikes, that while things may be going well now, situations can be altered in a hurry.
"You want to have good at bats and hit the ball hard. Right now, they’re dropping in but there will be times where they will not fall. You’re trying to have good at-bats but that can change quickly."
Lost in the latest offense barrage was the effort of starter Patrick Corbin. In gaining his second victory of the season, Corbin lowered his ERA from a 3.27 at the start to his current 3.10. What was particularly effective was his command of the strike zone. Of 31 hitters faced, Corbin threw 23 first-pitch strikes (105 pitches for the game) and that command guided the triumph.
For his win, Corbin went a season-high seven innings and allowed two runs. Later, Corbin acknowledged the effectiveness of his first pitch strike command to Venom Strikes.
"Coming into spring training, that was the big thing me. I knew I had to get ahead of hitters and use secondary stuff to keep them off-balanced. (Tuesday night), my slider was really good and I felt good. I had a positive ending to my ending and the offense did a great job supporting me."
For the win, the Diamondbacks banged out 16 hits. Goldschmidt ended with a 4-for-4 night and two runs scored, Brandon Drury chipped in with three hits and Pollock scored three times.
After the game, the Diamondbacks returned reliever Silvino Bracho to Triple-A Reno. On Wednesday, the club recalls right-hander Zack Godley, who will start in place of the injured Shelby Miller. Godley’s locker was already prepared with his game uninform after Tuesday’s win.
The series with the Padres continues Wednesday night. Zack Godley, who replaced Shelby Miller for now in the rotation, gets the start for Arizona. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-2, 3.44). Godley is making his first start of the season.
In the Padres’ series finale on Thursday, right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-1, 4.57) takes on righty Jered Weaver (0-0, 3.91).
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Then, the NL West division-leading Colorado Rockies move for a three-game, weekend series.