DENVER — Zac Gallen retired the first nine batters he faced to extend his scoreless innings streak to a franchise-record 44 1/3 innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 12-6 on Sunday.
Gallen's streak was the seventh-longest in major league history. Orel Hershiser holds the record with 59 innings, set in 1988 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gallen (12-2) struck out 11 in six innings to win for the seventh time in his last eight starts. He passed Brandon Webb with a scoreless first inning to set the club record at 42 1/3 innings; Webb’s mark came in 2007.
“He’s been super encouraging. I probably wouldn’t have taken as well as he did, encouraging somebody to break my record,” Gallen said of Webb. “It’s just awesome to be able to just be mentioned in the same conversations as a legend of the franchise.”
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Gallen retired the next six batters but three straight singles by Colorado to open the fourth, the last an RBI single by C.J. Cron, ended his streak. It was the first run he allowed since Aug. 2 at Cleveland, a day before his 27th birthday.
“I’m surprised no one caught on to that,” Gallen said. “For it to last that long I guess you could say 27 started off on a good year.”
Elehuris Montero had a two-run double later in the fourth inning.
“The run he’s been on, the hitters that he get through and the lineups he can get through, it’s been an unbelievable 44 innings -- or whatever it got to,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “It speaks volumes about how efficient he’s been and how good he’s been.”
Gallen was two outs shy of tying Sal Maglie (45 in 1950) for sixth on the all-time list of longest scoreless streaks in MLB history.
“The franchise record was the one that I was most really concerned about,” Gallen said. “Orel and 59 is a whole other stratosphere for me."
“I’m glad it’s over in the sense that it’s a relief,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about trying to be so perfect out there. But at the same time, you may never get a shot again (at) Orel’s record. Ultimately, it was a good run.”
Arizona scored four in the third and five in the seventh to back Gallen’s day. Jake McCarthy had four hits and three RBIs for the Diamondbacks.
“He’s locked in. He’s in a good spot,” Lovullo said. “He’s 4 for 6 and big hits, big knocks. I think the one in ninth inning was just as important as the one in the five runs (seventh). He just doesn’t let up, he’s got an unbelievable mentality and he’s been very impressive.”
Rockies starter Ryan Feltner (2-8) was chased in the third inning.
Moment of remembrance
Before the game, the two teams gathered around an American flag in the center of the infield in honor of Sept. 11, 2001. There was a moment of silence for that and for an Arvada police officer who was killed in the line of duty this weekend, before the national anthem.
Home sweet home
Arizona scored four runs in the third inning, the last on heads-up baserunning by Christian Walker. Walker was on third and broke for home on Feltner. He retreated when catcher Brian Serven got the ball, but then reversed course when Serven threw to third, just beating the relay home.
Diamondbacks: RHP Ryne Nelson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second career start when Arizona hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night. LA puts Tyler Anderson (14-3, 2.73) on the mound.
Rockies: RHP Chad Kuhl (6-8, 5.38) will open a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, going up against Michael Kopech (4-9, 3.78).