D-backs blank Marlins behind dominant outing by Ray
PHOENIX -- Robbie Ray found both tempo and success Sunday.
He threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Peter O'Brien homered to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Miami Marlins 6-0 on Sunday.
Ray (3-5) held Miami to three hits and a walk and struck out six. He faced only two batters over the minimum and did not allow a Miami runner into scoring position.
The outing came on the heels of an inefficient starts against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he unraveled with runners on base and lasted only 4 2/3 innings.
"I felt that I accomplished what I was trying to do, get easy outs and stay down in the zone," Ray said. "I'm still learning who I am as a pitcher. It's good to get this one under my belt."
Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale and pitching coach Mike Butcher challenged Ray after his prior start, letting him know throwing five or fewer innings wasn't acceptable.
"He threw the ball very well, had good tempo and really controlled himself at times," Hale said. "He wasn't rushing. He's a young pitcher. He is just really, really learning and learning on the job."
Paul Goldschmidt doubled, singled, scored twice and drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who won the final two games of the three-game series.
The shutout was Arizona's fifth of the season and first against the Marlins since August 27, 2012 at Chase Field.
Marlins starter Adam Conley (3-3) went five innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Conley was behind in a hurry against the Diamondbacks.
Jean Segura singled, went to second when Goldschmidt reached on catcher's interference, moved to third on a walk to Wellington Castillo and scored on a high pop up caught by second baseman Derek Dietrich in shallow right-center.
O'Brien then made it 4-0 with his homer over the Diamondbacks' left-field bullpen, his first of the year and second of his career.
"If you're standing around in batting practice, you can close your eyes and know it's him," Hale said.
The Diamondbacks' four runs in the opening inning were their most since a four-run first on Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, also managed by Don Mattingly.
"We talked about the first inning before," Mattingly said. "For starting pitchers that is always a dangerous inning. Today it was really dangerous for us. They get the four early, and we don't respond the rest of the day."
Arizona extended the lead to 5-0 in the second when Goldschmidt doubled down the left-field line and scored on a single by Castillo. Goldschmidt drove in a run in the fourth with a single, scoring Segura to put the Diamondbacks ahead 6-0.
"It It seems like the whole day I was somewhere between missing barrels and really solid contact," Conley said. "I think 11 hits, eight of them were on the ground. Nobody was really hitting the ball hard. If my stuff was better they swing and miss pitches. If my stuff was worse they would square it up."
RAY AT THE PLATE
Ray put together his second straight two-hit game with singles in the first and third innings. Including Monday's game against Tampa Bay, during which Ray hit his first career home run, the right-hander has raised his batting average from .111 to .261. Ray's run of four straight hits ended with a fly out to left in the fifth.
GOLDY MOVES UP
Goldschmidt's third-inning double moved him into a third-place tie with Stephen Drew on the club's all-time doubles list with 176.
Ichiro Suzuki, four hits shy of unofficially tying Pete Rose's hit record when his Japanese and major-league stats are combined, came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and walked on five pitches.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly successfully challenged a call in the bottom of the third inning. O'Brien lofted a high pop-up toward second baseman Derek Dietrich, who caught the ball briefly before it fell to the ground. Umpires originally ruled Dietrich had dropped the ball outright but after a 2:17 review, it was determined he was in the process of transferring the ball to his throwing hand after the catch was made.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chin (3-2, 4.56 ERA) starts for the Marlins on Monday in San Diego as Miami opens a three-game series against RHP Colin Rea (3-2, 4.74) and the Padres.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.84) will start for Arizona at home against RHP Mike Bolsinger (1-3, 5.75) and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Greinke is coming off a three-hit shutout in his last start Tuesday against Tampa Bay.