Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s 3-Run HR Breaks Tie with Cardinals in Sixth

Diamondbacks' pitcher shines in high-pressure game scenario.

by Nouman Rasool
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s 3-Run HR Breaks Tie with Cardinals in Sixth
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. supplied a big three-run shot in the sixth inning, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Gurriel's 377-foot line drive to left field only added insurance to the Diamondbacks' lead and marked his fourth home run of the 2024 season.

The 30-year-old outfielder, who just inked a staggering three-year, $42-million pact with the team last December, anchored his team's offense by going 2-for-4 at bat. He scored one run with three RBIs, one strikeout in the batting area, and was able to keep his .317 batting average and .936 OPS intact.

The game began on a high note for the Diamondbacks, who took an early lead in the first inning. Joc Pederson drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 advantage—a pattern reflecting the team's ability to score runs early in evidence of ten out of the last fifteen games.

Nootbar delivered an RBI single with two outs in the eighth to make it 4-2, Diamondbacks. But by then, it was too little, too late. One great performance came from the starting pitcher, Ryne Nelson of the Diamondbacks, who gave out his best during the season on Saturday.

Nelson, who had earlier struggled this season, gave up only a run across seven hits through seven innings. He also issued one walk and struck out four batters, showing marked improvement in both his ERA for the season. The cutter, working effectively alongside his fastball, played a crucial role in his success.

Nelson's Clutch Performance

Diamondbacks' manager Torey Lovullo praised Nelson’s strategy and execution. "Ryne went out there and executed a really good game plan," Lovullo commented. He highlighted Nelson's ability to manage pressure situations, particularly in the sixth inning when the Cardinals had runners on second and third with no outs.

Nelson skillfully navigated the inning, culminating with a crucial strikeout that left the bases loaded. Lovullo continued, emphasizing Nelson’s resilience and tactical prowess. "It couldn’t have been any better.

He just really kept pressing the zone with his fastball and working off that," he stated, underscoring the pitcher's capability to escape jams and maintain control throughout the game. As the season progresses, the Diamondbacks continue to demonstrate their strategic acumen and depth, factors that will be pivotal as they aim to maintain their competitive edge in the league.

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