Kelly, Marte, Pham key D-Backs romp
Published 11:27 pm Saturday, October 28, 2023
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Merrill Kelly pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, Ketel Marte extended his postseason hitting streak to a record 18 games and the Arizona Diamondbacks routed the Texas Rangers 9-1 on Saturday night to tie the World Series at one game apiece.
Gabriel Moreno hit a go-ahead homer in a two-run fourth against Jordan Montgomery, and Tommy Pham went 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles.
Marte added a two-run single in a three-run eighth, breaking a tie for the longest postseason hitting streak with Derek Jeter, Manny Ramírez and Hank Bauer. Marte has a hit in every postseason game he’s ever played.
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A night after wasting a two-run, ninth-inning lead in a 6-5, 11-inning loss, the Diamondbacks outhit Texas 16-4 and never trailed.
Emmanuel Rivera also had a two-run single, and rookie Corbin Carroll had a pair of RBI singles. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and 38-year-old Evan Longoria each singled in a run for Arizona, which got its first World Series road win after four losses dating to 2001.
The Series, just the third between wild-card teams, shifts to Arizona for Game 3 on Monday in the first Series game at Phoenix since 2001.
Kelly, a 35-year-old right-hander, had an unusual career path. After six seasons in the minors he detoured to South Korea from 2015-18 before making his major league debut with Arizona in 2019. He went 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA in 30 starts this season and is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four postseason starts.
Kelly struck out nine, walked none and went to just one three-ball count, allowing his only run on Mitch Garver’s leadoff homer in the fifth.
Pham, a trade-deadline acquisition from the New York Mets, entered in a 3-for-29 skid that included a Game 1 homer. He singled in the second, hit opposite-field doubles to right in the fourth and sixth, and singled in the eighth. He also was picked off second base by Montgomery
Montgomery entered 3-0 in the postseason and was coming off a win in relief in Monday’s Game 7 victory at Houston that won the AL pennant, only the second time he pitched out of the bullpen in his big league career. His velocity was down about 1.5 mph from his season average, and Diamondbacks batters failed to make contact on just two of the 37 pitches they swung at.
Moreno put Arizona ahead when Montgomery left a full-count curveball over the middle of the plate. Moreno lined the ball into Arizona’s bullpen in left-center, giving him four postseason homers and 10 RBIs in 14 games. Pham sliced a two-out double into the right-field corner and scored on Gurriel’s single for a 2-0 lead.
Arizona added a cushion in the sixth when Alek Thomas doubled to the right-center gap leading off and scored as Longoria, in his first World Series since 2008, hit a hard grounder that got past rookie third baseman Josh Jung and down the line for an RBI single.
Marte and Caroll singled in the eighth off Martín Pérez.
Jung dove into foul territory to snag Christian Walker’s fourth-inning grounder, then popped to his feet to throw out Walker at first. … Walker leaped to make a barehand grab of Jonah Heim’s fifth-inning grounder that hit first base and flipped to Kelly covering for the out.
Texas RHP Max Scherzer, who is 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in a pair of postseason starts this year, appears for his third different World Series team in Game 3 after pitching for Detroit and Washington. Rookie RHP Brandon Pfaadt has a 2.70 ERA without a decision in four postseason games for Arizona.