Diamondbacks score 14 runs in 3rd inning, cruise to 16-1 victory over Rockies

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Alek Thomas makes a leaping catch on a fly ball hit by Colorado Rockies' Elehuris Montero during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Alek Thomas makes a leaping catch on a fly ball hit by Colorado Rockies’ Elehuris Montero during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen isn’t one to turn down run support.

But by the end of the third inning Thursday night, he was almost begging to get back on the field.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had five RBIs and three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Diamondbacks used a franchise-record 14-run third inning to rout the Colorado Rockies 16-1 on Thursday night.

The 14 runs were the most in an inning on opening day for any team since 1900.

“I joked at one point ‘Hey, I want to play,’” Gallen said. “It makes our job as pitchers a lot easier when they give you that much support. Next time, I’d rather them just do it in 10 minutes. Those guys came ready to play.”

Defending National League champion Arizona led 2-1 going into the bottom of the third, but then sent 18 batters to the plate and had 13 hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly.

Maybe most improbably, Arizona didn’t hit a homer during the inning. Ketel Marte, Gurriel, Christian Walker, Gabriel Moreno and Geraldo Perdomo all had two hits. Corbin Carroll walked twice. Blaze Alexander had his first big-league hit with a single up the middle that scored the 14th run.

“It was the situational hitting, taking walks when you’re supposed to, it was an all-field approach,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We were a good hitting team today.”

The outburst broke franchise records for most hits, runs and batters in a single inning. It took 34 minutes for the Rockies to get three outs. The D-backs led 16-1 after three innings.

Gallen (1-0) gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He was helped on a pair of stellar defensive plays by third baseman Eugenio Suarez and center fielder Alek Thomas, which both squashed potential scoring opportunities for the Rockies.

Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland (0-1) took the brunt of the damage in the third, and was pulled after giving up 10 earned runs on 10 hits and a walk over 2 1/3 innings.

“Everything was left middle and up,” Freeland said. “I wasn’t hitting my spots well at all. I wasn’t executing well at all. And a team like that, which has good bats all the way through, took advantage of every single mistake.”

It was Freeland’s third opening day start for the Rockies, which is tied with Germán Márquez for the most in franchise history. Ryan McMahon had two hits, including an RBI double in the second.

Arizona’s Marte led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle. He scored two batters later when Gurriel connected for a towering, no-doubt shot into the left field stands for a 2-0 lead.

Gurriel hit 24 homers last season with the D-backs, which was his first in the desert. Arizona brought him back on a $42 million, three-year deal that includes a club option for 2027.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: OF Randal Grichuk (ankle) has started the season on the 10-day injured list. He’s expected to open in Triple-A Reno on a rehab assignment and could be in the big leagues fairly soon.

UP NEXT

The Diamondbacks send RHP Merrill Kelly to the mound Friday night. The Rockies will counter with RHP Cal Quantrill.

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