Owings, Bradley shine as D-backs earn split with Rangers
By Steve Gilbert and Jesse Sanchez
PHOENIX -- Archie Bradley overcame a difficult first inning to register another quality start, as the D-backs beat the Rangers, 8-5, on Wednesday night to earn a two-game split at Chase Field.
After allowing a run in the first -- thanks to three walks and a hit batter -- Bradley kept the Rangers off the board for the next five innings. The Rangers did not get their first hit off Bradley (2-0) until Yovani Gallardo's single to lead off the fifth.
"He didn't have his control to start the game," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Bradley, who threw 37 pitches in the first. "He stayed the course and really showed a lot of heart tonight."
D-backs second baseman Chris Owings tallied seven total bases on the night, including a solo home run off Gallardo and a triple later in the game. Gallardo (2-2) had a rare poor start against the D-backs, allowing five runs (three earned) over five innings. Coming into the game he was 7-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 10 career starts against Arizona.
The Rangers' bats didn't get going until the top of the ninth, when they plated four runs. But Addison Reed slammed the door by getting Elvis Andrus to bounce out to short, leaving Prince Fielder, the would-be tying run, in the on-deck circle.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big error: The D-backs caught a big break in the bottom of the first when -- after Ender Inciarte led off with a single to right -- Adrian Beltre made a throwing error on a tapper to third. Beltre threw wildly to first, which allowed Inciarte to come all the way around to score and put A.J. Pollock at third base, where he would score on a groundout by Paul Goldschmidt.
Double trouble: The D-backs have played solid defense up the middle this year, and Wednesday night was no exception as they turned four double plays to end possible Texas rallies.
Getting to Gallardo: Much was made about Gallardo's return to a National League stadium and his chance to get back into the batter's box. The veteran pitcher did get a hit. In fact, his fifth-inning single broke up Bradley's early no-hitter. But Gallardo's team committed two errors behind him, and he lasted just five innings, picking up the loss. He struck out six and gave up six hits. More >
Missed opportunity: Bradley retired the first two batters he faced to start the game, but ran into trouble quickly. Fielder and Beltre walked, before Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Robinson Chirinos followed with a walk, and just like that, the Rangers were up, 1-0. But they couldn't expand that lead, as Jake Smolinski grounded into a forceout. Bradley, despite a high pitch-count early on, did not run into serious trouble again. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
D-backs starting pitchers have gone 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and just one home run allowed in the last seven games.
The Rangers challenged a play in the top of the ninth inning, contending a diving Smolinski was not tagged out by a lunging Goldschmidt near first base. Smolinski was originally ruled out on the play, and the call was confirmed after being reviewed.
The play didn't seem especially noteworthy at the time. But when the Rangers rallied for four in the ninth, putting the tying run on deck, Goldschmidt's tag proved very significant.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: The Rangers have an off-day Thursday and start a three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Friday. Veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to be called up Friday for the start.
D-backs: The D-backs have their second off-day this week on Thursday, before opening a three-game series with the Pirates at Chase Field. Josh Collmenter, coming off a four-hit shutout of the Giants in his last outing, will start for Arizona.