The Arizona Diamondbacks took the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Braves, 5-0.
Arizona starting pitcher Zac Gallen had himself a day on the mound — throwing a complete-game shutout, striking out six batters and only allowing one hit on the day.
“It was the fastball command. It was the short cutter-slider,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said via Zoom postgame. “Getting a feel for when to stretch that out and throw something with a little more break and a little more depth off of that. The changeup was working real well. The break on the curveball was working, it was landing five different pitches whenever he felt the need to.”
Gallen was rolling through Atlanta’s offense as he was carrying a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The 6-foot-2 pitcher noted that he was aware of the no-hitter around the sixth inning.
“It was in the back of my mind,” he said via Zoom postgame. “But, I mean, pretty much anytime I’m out there, I’m trying to give up no hits. So I was definitely thinking about it as the game progressed on.”
In the sixth inning, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman broke up Gallen’s no-hitter with a single to right field.
Outfielder Kole Calhoun did his best to try to catch the ball hit by Freeman, however, the ball was a bit shallow for him.
“(Calhoun) gave it like 150% on that one, I respect that,” Gallen said. “As soon as he hit it, I thought it was going to duck in. (Calhoun) said, ‘I don’t want to leave any doubt’. So I appreciate Cole playing as hard as he actually does every game.”
Lovullo was also pleased with his offense as they combined for eight hits and put up five runs on the board.
Catcher Stephen Vogt got things started for Arizona early on by hitting a two-run home run off of Braves starting pitcher Bryse Wilson in the second inning.
Calhoun also got the best of Wilson as he hit a solo home run to extend the D-backs’ lead to 3-0 in the third.
Eduardo Escobar and Josh VanMeter would also chip in with some run support with a pair of RBI singles.
Shortstop Nick Ahmed also joined in on the fun as he hit a double and reached on an infield single.
“Yeah, I was really happy for Nick, he’s been grinding as hard as anybody,” Lovullo said. “He knows the swing mechanics and he knows what he’s trying to get to. Baseball is a feel and sometimes you just don’t feel right. You don’t feel good. But he continues to grind. And he continues to search for positive results.”
Despite losing the no-hitter, Gallen would go on to close out the game for the Diamondbacks and get the win as Arizona took the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
The D-backs and Braves are currently playing Game 2 of today’s doubleheader.
Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.