Angels fall to NL West leading Diamondbacks 5-1 for third consecutive loss
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been baseball’s best first-inning team and they added to those numbers with Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer Wednesday night.
The way Clay Buchholz has been pitching, it was more than enough.
Goldschmidt homered to set the all-time mark at Chase Field, Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings and the Diamondbacks earned a 5-1 victory over the Angels.
“It seems like every day. This team is pretty amazing when you look at the runs scored in the first inning,” Buchholz said.
The Diamondbacks have a knack for jumping on teams early, leading the majors in first-inning runs with 109.
Goldschmidt increased the total with his two-run shot off Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2), passing Luis Gonzalez with his 96th homer at Chase Field. Goldschmidt had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and has reached safely in 27 straight.
Buchholz (7-2) yielded four hits and struck out seven with no walks for his eighth straight game of at least five innings and three runs or fewer allowed.
David Peralta also hit a two-run shot to homer for the third straight game. The Diamondbacks have won six of seven to maintain a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West over Colorado.
“It all started with Clay tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He goes out and gives us seven scoreless and really set the tone for us for the course of this game.”
The injury-depleted Angels had five hits — two by Rene Rivera — and lost for the fifth time in six games.
“I thought we had some pretty good looks at him (Buchholz), hit some balls hard, but he got in his rhythm and started to change some speeds midway through,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Buchholz has been sharp the past two months, entering Wednesday’s game 5-1 with 2.00 ERA over seven starts, including his 10th career complete game against San Diego last Thursday. He kept the Angels off balance most of the night, allowing three singles and a double.
Despaigne gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings against Texas on Friday in his second start since being acquired from Miami on Aug. 14 for cash. The right-hander served up Goldschmidt’s first-inning homer and a run-scoring single to Nick Ahmed in the fourth.
Despaigne allowed three runs and five hits in four innings.
“He made a couple of mistakes: One to Goldschmidt and the other one to Ahmed,” Rivera said. “Besides that he was OK. His pitch count was a little high but overall he did OK.”
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