For most of this season, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale tells listeners that starter Rubby De La Rosa continues to have “electric stuff.”
With a fast ball crackling in the mid-90s and a deceptive breaking ball, when he throws the pitch for location, De La Rosa, though, remains an enigma.
More important, the question is constantly raised whether De La Rosa, with all of the tools Hale believes to be a winner at the major league level, can hold a lead.
During his start Monday, the Diamondbacks supported Del La Rosa was a marginal one-run lead early in the game. Then, his fortune began to turn and his teammates broke out for a three-run inning in the fourth. That opened a sizable cushion, and from there, De La Rosa took advantage.
In the end, the Diamondbacks made it easy for De La Rosa. Following the three run out-break in the fifth, Arizona added six more in the sixth, and coasted to a 13-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies before 16,495 in Chase Field.
With the victory, the Diamondbacks now climb to within one game of the elusive .500 level with a 55-56 mark. This was also the sixth time this season the Diamondbacks’ run production reached double-digits.
As a result of the win, De La Rosa moves into double-digits in victories, and picked up his 10th of the season (10-5). Last season, only one pitcher reached double-digits in wins and that was Josh Collmenter (11-4).
“I try and be consistent, De La Rosa said afterward. “I made a few adjustments to keep the ball down, and attack the strike zone. I’m attacking the strike zone all the time.”
In the end, the Diamondbacks were able to get six innings out of De La Rosa, who allowed eight hits, three runs, all earned and tossed 92 pitches (62 for strikes).
“(De La Rosa) was a winner at there,” said manager Chip Hale. “He did get the ball up a few times and paid. Also, he had a tendency to overthrow his change, but he was able to control the damage and kept the lead.”
Entering the fifth with a 2-1 lead, the mistake referenced by Hale was a pitch up and over the plate to Phillies’ rookie third baseman Maikel Franco, who deposited the pitch into the center field seats that tied the game.
Then the Diamondbacks bailed out De La Rosa with that three-spot in the fifth. The frame was high-lighted by a home run by catcher Welington Castillo. That’s Castillo’s eighth home run in his last 12 games. Along with a triple, Castillo chipped in with a 2-for-4 night with a career-tying four RBIs.
In beating up Phillies’ starter Aaron Harang and relievers Adam Loewen, Justin De Fratus and Elvis Araujo, the Diamondbacks reached notable achievements.
The seven hits collected in the sixth inning established a season-high for hits in one inning, and the run-production of 13 was one short of the season mark. On May 12, the Diamondbacks defeated the Nationals 14-6.
Playing in his first game in the team’s last three, Yasmany Tomas added a 2-for-4 night with a his seventh homer of the season and two RBIs. Caught in a revolving door for playing time with A. J. Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte, Tomas told reporters he is making the best of the situation.
“It’s a manager’s decision,” he said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. “When I get my chance, I need to execute. I know the season is long, but I feel good and relaxed. I’m doing my work in the batting cage and watching video.”
With a .299 batting average after Monday’s game, Tomas continues among the top rookie hitters in the National League. Only the Giants’ Matt Duffy (.307) has a higher batting average among NL rookies.