Peralta, Calhoun, Ahmed Power Diamondbacks to Victory over Angels

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Diamondbacks 9, Angels 6

Left fielder David Peralta went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Angels, 9-6, Wednesday night in Anaheim. In addition, right fielder Kole Calhoun went 2-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored, and two RBI. Shortstop Nick Ahmed went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI, and a stolen base as well.

Both pitchers pitched a scoreless first. Angels starter Dylan Bundy sat the Diamondbacks down in order, but Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith had to get himself out of a jam. A one-out single by first baseman Jared Walsh and walk by center fielder Mike Trout, up next, put runners on first and second for third baseman Anthony Rendon. His fly to the track in center advanced Walsh to third for designated hitter Albert Pujols. Smith settled down and struck the future Hall of Famer out to escape unscathed.

Diamondbacks Take Early Lead, Angels Counter

The second inning was a different story, as six Diamondbacks batted before Bundy even recorded an out. Calhoun led off with a single and advanced to second when the next hitter – third baseman Eduardo Escobar – walked. A single to right by Peralta brought Calhoun around to score and advanced Escobar to third. An errant throw home allowed Peralta to advance to second.

That 90 feet paid off when shortstop Nick Ahmed, up next, singled, as it scored both runners instead of only the lead one. Ahmed stole second as the next hitter – catcher Stephen Vogt – batted. He ultimately singled, scoring Ahmed and giving the Diamondbacks a 4-0 lead. A walk to center fielder Daulton Varsho put runners on first and second for designated hitter Josh Rojas. After he struck out, second baseman Josh VanMeter flied to the track in right, advancing Vogt to third after tagging up. A grounder to short by first baseman Christian Walker retired the side.

The bottom of the inning saw the Angels get two back. Left fielder Justin Upton drew a leadoff walk and scored when the next hitter – catcher Max Stassi – homered. Smith struck out the next two hitters – right fielder Jo Adell and shortstop Andrelton Simmons – before allowing a single to second baseman David Fletcher. After a mound visit from pitching coach Matt Herges, Smith struck out Walsh to end the inning.

Diamondbacks Increase Lead, Angels Chip Away

Despite starting with two quick outs, Bundy did not survive the third. Peralta and Ahmed hit back-to-back singles, and those two hits chased the Angels ace out of the game. Reliever Hoby Milner took over, and the situation got worse for the Angels before it got better. After Vogt walked, Varsho hit a grounder in the hole on the right side. It barely eluded the reach of Walsh, going to his right, but Fletcher, going to his left, got to it. However, Varsho outran Milner to the bag, giving him an RBI single on the play as Peralta scored. Fletcher’s throw ended up going behind Milner, and the throwing error allowed Ahmed to score as well. Rojas followed with a fly to left, retiring the side with the Diamondbacks holding a 6-2 lead.

Smith, limited in pitch count due to the time he has missed in 2020, left the game in favor of Taylor Clarke in the bottom of the third. Clarke traded zeros in the fourth with Patrick Sandoval, the Angels lefty who pitched long relief. Sandoval also pitched a scoreless fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Walsh continued his hot streak with a two-out solo homer to make the score 6-3.

The bottom of the sixth started with two highlight-reel plays. Rendon launched a deep drive to right that Calhoun snatched on the run while crashing into the fence. Pujols, up next, ripped a hard liner to the left side that VanMeter, playing in the overshift, caught as he dove to his right. On the ensuing pitch, former Diamondbacks left fielder Justin Upton belted a no-doubt bomb into the Angels bullpen in left-center, cutting the Diamondbacks lead to 6-4. After Stassi followed with a double to the left-field corner, Adell grounded to third, ending the inning.

More Fireworks

Walker led off the top of the seventh with a double to the left-field corner, bringing up Calhoun, who belted his third home run of the series, a two-run blast that bounced into the camera well just to the left of dead center. After Escobar grounded to the pitcher, Peralta crushed his second home run of the series, a solo shot to the elevated seats in right-center, making the score 9-4.

The Angels got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh. The first came with Simmons on second, Walsh on first, and one out. A double to the wall in left-center by Trout scored Simmons and advanced Walsh to third. Rendon followed with a groundout to short that plated Walsh. Pujols, up next, hit a liner to left-center that looked like trouble, but Varsho, charging to his right, made a diving catch to save a run and end the inning.

Slamming the Door

Noe Ramirez pitched the eighth and ninth for the Angels, retiring all six hitters that he faced. Junior Guerra pitched the eighth for the Diamondbacks, settling down after allowing a pair of singles to start the frame. A wild pitch advanced the lead runner – Upton – to third, putting runners on the corners with nobody out for Adell, who fanned. Guerra got out of the inning when he got the next hitter, Simmons, to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Crichton pitched a scoreless and hitless ninth for the save, with the only baserunner coming on a throwing error by Escobar with two out.

This win gives the Diamondbacks their first series win since August 17-18, when they swept a two-game home series against the Oakland Athletics. It is their first road series win since August 10-12, when they took two of three from the Colorado Rockies in Denver. The Angels and Diamondbacks will square off again Thursday afternoon, with lefty Alex Young pitching for the Diamondbacks against righty Griffin Canning. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 Pacific. A win for the Diamondbacks would give them their first series sweep since August 14-16 against the San Diego Padres. It would also mean their first road series sweep since taking a two-gamer against the San Francisco Giants on August 26-27, 2019.

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