TEMPE, Ariz. — Zac Gallen is getting closer and closer to his regular season form.
The Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher went 3.1 innings Friday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out four.
The Angels would get the best of the D-backs after Gallen’s exit, however, taking a 4-3 victory over the visitors.
“It felt pretty good, You know same thing with each start, each time out there, just building on certain things. The rust is starting to come off so I felt good,” Gallen said after his outing. “The ball is coming out clean. Obviously some pitches I’d like to have redo, just missed some spots but other than that just thought everything was working really well.”
Friday marked the longest outing of the spring for Gallen, who entered the matchup with 5.0 innings pitched under his belt, allowing just three hits and three walks. He also struck out four.
Despite the small sample size, Gallen showed he was ready for the Angels’ two toughest hitters in Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Gallen caught Trout looking in his first at-bat against the right-hander before getting the outfielder to ground out into a double play in the third inning. Pujols lined out to third base in the second inning.
While it was yet another encouraging showing for Gallen, the pitcher isn’t on cruise control as he navigates the rest of spring training, knowing there’s things to improve on from a season prior.
“It’s just really that new season of just basically knocking the rust off of a lot of things. The biggest thing, like I said before, was the changeup,” Gallen said. “Just trying to get that consistent, I felt like it was inconsistent last year at times. Just paying greater attention to that and then at the same time just sharpening everything else and not losing feel for that.”
But in a day filled with scattered showers, Galled represented the sunshine, while closer candidate Joakim Soria provided the rain.
In an inning of work, Soria was dinged with four earned runs on four hits. He struck out one.
It’s a night-and-day showing for Soria, who allowed just one walk in his first outing in a D-backs uniform this spring.
“I think maybe there was some misfires and I think the first batter getting on may have been a little distracting. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him,” Lovullo said. “He strikes somebody out and he winds up on base, it takes a second to maybe regroup the troops a little bit.
“But he didn’t make terrible pitches. … I think a little inconsistent with his stuff, but a real non-issue for me. He’s continuing to get work in, get a feel for each pitch with each outing.”
Gallen on his recent contract renewal with the D-backs:
“It was just something that my team and I just felt like the system that goes about assessing that and calculating the pay just wasn’t there based on my performance last year. It’s just something we took into account and thought about a little bit and just didn’t think it was fair.
“Not necessarily [that the price was way off], just not the number we had envisioned. Not that necessarily we had a specific number but just felt it wasn’t indicative of how I played last year.”
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