Reds jump on Arizona early, blank D-Backs 7-0

PHOENIX—Taijuan Walker gave up a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-0 Saturday night at Chase Field.

All in all, Walker gave up five runs on five hits in five innings of work, walking three and striking out four. Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton was the first batter he faced, and it was a nine-pitch at-bat that might’ve rattled Walker early on.

“A little bit,” Walker said about if it rattled him. “I thought I struck him out. I thought it was a good pitch. Looked like it was right down the middle. Kind of made me mad. Just let that sit with me for too long. Can’t do that. Got to shake it off and go back to finding my zone and just kind of get away from it.”

The pitch Walker is referring to was the fifth pitch of the at-bat. MLB.com shows the pitch, like Walker said, right down the middle. A clear strike. No clue how the ump missed that one. The pitch was a four-seam fastball.

Jake Lamb’s shot to left reached the warning track in the bottom of the second, but, it didn’t have enough distance to put a run on the board for Arizona.

Top of the fourth, Billy Hamilton, batting .240 on the year, singles to left and drives home one, extending the Reds lead to four. D-Backs were still hitless.

The man on the mound for the Reds was one Luis Castillo. Castillo came into the game with a 0-1 record and a 4.41 ERA. Castillo lasted 6 2/3, giving up no runs on three hits, walking one and striking out eight.

“There was good mound presence for a young kid,” Manager Torey Lovullo said of Castillo. “This level was very new to him, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him. The fastball velocity, combination with command. I think the changeup off that fastball was very effective.”

Paul Goldschmidt got Arizona their first hit of the ballgame in the bottom of the fourth, a single to center.

In the top of the fifth, Scooter Gennett homered to right off Walker to put the Reds up 5-0.

Scoring opportunity for the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Lamb singled, and Ketel Marte had a chance to finally put the D-Backs on the board. Marte singled to right, but that’s all it was. Runners on first and second with two out. A.J Pollock pinch-hitting for Ray Fuentes. Wandy Peralta in to pitch for the Reds. Pollock popped out to first to end the inning.

Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart homered off Jorge De La Rosa in the top of the ninth to extend the Reds lead to six.

Joey Votto hit a sac fly with the bases loaded to make it 7-0.

Up Next: Patrick Corbin (6-8, 4.81 ERA) and the Diamondbacks take on Homer Bailey (1-2, 12.66 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds in the third and final game of the series, and the final game before the All-Star Break.

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