Goldy hits 18th homer on three-hit night

Goldy hits 18th homer on three-hit night

ANAHEIM -- After watching teams pitch around Paul Goldschmidt for much of the season, the D-backs had to like what they saw in the third inning Monday night.

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Angels starter Jered Weaver walked the leadoff man, and then after retiring the next two hitters, he walked A.J. Pollock to put runners at first and second for Goldschmidt, who launched a hanging breaking ball over the wall for three-run homer in what proved to be a 7-3 D-backs win.

Goldschmidt is second in the Majors in walks, one behind Washington's Bryce Harper, and he is far and away the leader in intentional walks with 16. The next closest hitter is Detroit's Miguel Cabrera with 10.

"It's early in the game, and that's their No. 1 guy," D-backs manager Chip Hale said when asked whether he was surprised Weaver didn't walk Goldschmidt. "[Weaver] is a horse. I've seen this guy dominate for many years. He was doing a pretty good job and Goldy just got a pitch that wasn't executed as well as Weaver probably wanted to."

The homer was the 18th of the year for Goldschmidt, who has been on fire both at the plate and at the ballot box moving up from third in the All-Star Game voting at first base to first within the span of three weeks.

Goldschmidt has reached base safely in his last 25 games and is hitting .453 with six homers and 15 RBIs over his last 18 games. His overall batting average of .366 is tops the Majors.

"Just try to get something up," Goldschmidt said of his approach against Weaver. "He can throw any pitch in any count and fortunately he threw a curveball and it stayed up and I was able to hit it hard and get it out of there."

Goldschmidt finished a triple shy of the cycle and was denied the opportunity to go for it in the ninth when Angels reliever Fernando Salas walked him intentionally.

Goldschmidt is adamant about deflecting credit for his success, and on Monday he sang the praises of D-backs starter Robbie Ray, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with seven scoreless frames.

Ray's outing continued a run of outstanding performances by the Arizona rotation. Over the past four games, starters Chase Anderson, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Ray have combined for a 0.65 ERA.

"That's been the key these last four days," Goldschmidt said. "I barely feel like they've given up any runs much less hits. Robbie did a great job tonight, and when the guy's putting up a lot of zeroes, you're going to get a chance offensively. It puts pressure on their pitcher to be perfect as well."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.