Ray dominates Angels in another D-backs win
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For the third time in four days, an Arizona starter held an opponent hitless through the first five innings.
Chase Anderson and Allen Webster did it during a three-game sweep in San Francisco, and Robbie Ray followed in the opener against the Los Angeles Angels.
Ray allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings in his 10th major league start, and the Diamondbacks got home runs from Paul Goldschmidt and Yasmany Tomas in a 7-3 victory over the defending AL West champions on Monday night.
"Robbie did a great job tonight," Goldschmidt said. "When a guy's putting up a lot of zeros, you're going to get a chance offensively because it puts pressure on their pitcher to be perfect as well. And when we have the lead, Robbie can be a lot more aggressive and not worry about solo homers and stuff like that."
Ray (2-1) struck out three and walked two in his fourth start of the season, dropping his ERA to 1.09. The 23-year-old left-hander allowed only one batter to reach base through the first 5 2/3 innings. That was on a four-pitch walk in the fourth to reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who was quickly erased on an inning-ending double-play grounder by Albert Pujols.
"I didn't throw many off-speed pitches and I just stayed on the fastball and attacked hitters," Ray said. "Me and my catcher (Wellington Castillo) had a game plan going, we stuck to it, and the team was making plays behind me."
Ray retired his first two batters in the sixth on popups to first base before No. 9 hitter Daniel Robertson -- the only player Angels player who had faced him before -- broke up the no-hit bid with a clean single to right-center field. Erick Aybar then singled inside third base, but was thrown out at second by left fielder Cliff Pennington.
Pennington was in the game because D-backs right fielder and leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte was taken out with a right hamstring strain, after trying to beat out a first-inning grounder to first that Pujols fielded wide of the bag before tossing to pitcher Jered Weaver. Inciarte was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game.
"I've never had a hamstring issue, so it's really disappointing," Inciarte said. "Nobody wants to go on the DL. ... But they're doing what they know is best for me, so I'll do whatever they say. ... Hopefully I'll get better soon and start playing games again in 15 days."
Weaver (4-7) was charged with five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in seven innings, including Goldschmidt's 18th homer and Tomas' third, which helped Arizona build a 5-0 lead.
"I don't know what it is. Maybe my stuff is a little flat. Maybe I'm going with too many off-speed pitches," said Weaver, who has given up 16 homers this season and seven in his last four starts. "It's obviously frustrating. ... I've just gotta find my way out of it and keep grinding."
The Angels pulled to 5-3 with three runs in the eighth. Kyle Kubitza scored on Addison Reed's bases-loaded wild pitch to Trout, who doubled home two more against the right-hander before Pujols' bid for a tying two-run homer was caught on the warning track by center fielder A.J. Pollock.
The D-backs tacked on two runs in the ninth on Pennington's suicide-squeeze bunt single and Pollock's sacrifice fly, but Reed got the last four outs for his third save of the season.
Goldschmidt gave Arizona a 3-0 lead in the third with a towering drive to center field after Weaver gave up a leadoff walk to Castillo and a two-out walk to Pollock. Goldschmidt, a two-time All-Star, had three hits to ncrease his major league-leading average to. 366 and has reached base safely in 25 straight games.
Goldschmidt, who leads the D-backs with 53 RBIs, was denied another one in the seventh when Robertson fielded his two-out single and threw out Pennington at the plate. Robertson was playing in his second game with the Angels, who acquired him from Texas last November.
Weaver called trainer Rick Smith to the mound in the fourth inning to attend to a problem he was having with his thumb after giving up a one-out single by Jake Lamb, but was given the green light to continue.
Weaver came in 16-5 with a 2.68 ERA in his 31 previous interleague starts, including a 12-3 win against the D-backs at Chase Field on June 26, 2009.
Angels: 3B David Freese was limited to DH duty for the second straight game because of a hamstring issue. Manager Mike Scioscia said he would be back at third on Wednesday and Thursday nights, when the Angels play at Arizona and there is no DH.
Diamondbacks: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3) has failed to pitch seven full innings in any of his last 21 starts since Aug. 6, 2014. He is 3-0 in his last four outings despite a 4.84 ERA during that stretch.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (6-4) is coming off a 6-2 road victory against Tampa Bay in which he allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out seven.