Mathisen Leads Rally as Diamondbacks Sweep Rangers

Diamondbacks Rangers

Diamondbacks 7, Rangers 3

Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Wyatt Mathisen hit his first two major league home runs and left fielder Tim Locastro added a third as the Diamondbacks rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Texas Rangers, 7-3, Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar added two hits and scored a run. Catcher Carson Kelly also had two hits, including a two-run single.

Rangers Take Early Lead

The Rangers got on the board first. Center fielder Leody Taveras led off the game with a double to left and advanced to third (after tagging up) when the next hitter, second baseman Nick Solak, hit a fly to right. Third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa, up next, hit an RBI grounder to third, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

The visiting Rangers added to their lead in the fourth. Rookie catcher Sam Huff, who attended Arcadia High School in Phoenix, doubled to right-center with one out. He advanced to third on a groundout to second by the next hitter, DH Willie Calhoun. A single to center by shortstop Anderson Tejada, up next, brought Huff across for a 2-0 Rangers lead.

Diamondbacks Bat Around

The score became 3-0 in the top of the fifth when Solak walked with two out and scored on a triple by Kiner-Falefa. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks had left four runners on base in the first three innings, with one being in scoring position. In the fourth, shortstop Nick Ahmed singled with one out, extending his modest hitting streak to six games. A grounder to third by the next hitter, Kelly, turned into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

When the bottom of the fifth rolled around, the Diamondbacks got one run back. With one out, Mathisen, who was batting ninth, drove an 0-1 curveball into the left-center-field bleachers for his first major league home run. Locastro followed with a single to right, but he ended the inning stranded on first.

Everything changed in the fifth. Escobar led off with a single to left. Right fielder Kole Calhoun, the reigning National League Player of the Week, also singled to left, putting Escobar on second. This ended the day for southpaw Wes Benjamin, who was making his first major league start. Reliever Nick Goody retired Ahmed on a grounder to short for the first out, but both runners advanced on the play. Kelly plated them with a single up the middle, tying the game. Rookie utility man Daulton Varsho, playing center field in this game, smashed a triple to the corner in right-center, giving the Diamondbacks the lead.

That brought up Mathisen. On 0-2, he ripped a deep fly to left. It sailed into the bleachers, making the score 6-3. That chased Goody from the game in favor of lefty Brett Martin. Martin fared no better, surrendering a paint-scraper home run to left on an 0-2 count to Locastro. Ketel Marte, the DH, came up next and tripled, but he stayed on third for the rest of the inning. After sending 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, the Diamondbacks had taken a commanding 7-3 lead.

Total Shutdown

Rangers first baseman Sherten Apostel walked to lead off the seventh, but he was the last Ranger to reach base. Lefty reliever Travis Bergen, the pitcher who walked Apostel, struck out the next three hitters to retire the side. Yoan Lopez and Stefan Crichton followed with a 1-2-3 eighth and ninth, respectively, to finish off the win.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said that the comeback showed the team’s “character, heart, and determination. We fell behind today, 3-0, (and) scratched together one run. (Then we) had some quality at-bats. One guy handed off to the next. All those features we talk about that lead to big innings – we walked right through that for that six-run sixth.”

Lovullo is “happy, obviously, with what happened. But there’s a lot of work that went into making those good things happen. From an offensive standpoint, we hit the pitch we were looking for. Certainly, for me, the highlight was Wyatt Mathisen with a couple of home runs – his first two. (Those were) big home runs, too.” Lovullo also acknowledged the importance of Kelly’s two-run single, calling it a “quality at-bat,” and commended Locastro for his two-hit performance.

Reliever Keury Mella, who pitched a scoreless sixth, earned the win for the Diamondbacks, keeping starter Alex Young from taking a tough loss. Goody, who surrendered three runs on three hits while only recording one out, was the losing pitcher.

Outlook

The Rangers (19-37) head back home to Arlington, where they will host the Houston Astros (28-28). Their four-game series with their cross-state rivals will close out their season. On Thursday, Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) will start for the Astros. The Rangers will counter with Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) in a battle of right-handers. First pitch will be at 7:05 pm Central.

The Diamondbacks (22-34), after a scheduled off-day Thursday, will host the Colorado Rockies (24-31) over the weekend in their final four games of the season. They will meet in a doubleheader on Friday, with the first game starting at 3:40 pm Arizona time. Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA) will start the first game, and Taylor Clarke (2-0, 3.99 ERA) will start the nightcap. The Rockies have not announced their starting pitchers yet as of press time.

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