The Arizona Diamondbacks will continue to showcase their youth, including the organization’s No. 1 prospect — center fielder Alek Thomas — when they face the Miami Marlins in a three-game series that starts Monday night in Phoenix.
Thomas made his major-league debut Sunday and hit a double and scored in the Diamondbacks’ 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Fellow rookies Jose Herrera, a catcher, and Cooper Hummel, designated hitter, also were in the lineup.
Herrera had a two-run double to record his first RBIs of his career, and Hummel drew a walk that proved to be a factor.
Colorado starter German Marquez tried to pick Hummel off at first and made an errant throw that enabled Thomas to score after his double in the fifth inning. Thomas had moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Herrera before Hummel walked.
Thomas was Arizona’s second-round pick in the 2018 draft out of Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. He was batting .277 (28-for-101) with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 14 RBIs over 24 games with Triple-A Reno this season.
With catcher Carson Kelly going on the injured list Saturday due to a Grade 1 left oblique strain, Daulton Varsho is moving from center field to being Arizona’s primary catcher. That opened a spot in center field for Thomas.
“I told him to be the best version of himself and just play the way he’s always played,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of his conversation with Thomas before Sunday’s game. “He just needs to do what has got him this far. That obviously has worked for him.”
Arizona, victorious in nine of its past 12 games, has won three of its past four series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marlins and Rockies.
The Diamondbacks beat Colorado in two of three games with starters Merrill Kelly, Zach Davies and Zac Gallen limiting the Rockies to five runs in the series.
The Marlins, swept by Arizona last week in Miami, lost six consecutive games before beating the Padres 8-0 on Saturday behind Pablo Lopez’s complete game.
They held San Diego scoreless for 22 innings before losing 3-2 Sunday on Jorge Alfaro’s three-run walk-off home run.
“Everything felt it went our way until the last pitch of the game,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “We weren’t able to tack on runs. Runs were hard to come by.”
Two right-handers will start against each other Monday with Elieser Hernandez (2-1, 6.66 ERA) going for the Marlins and Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 4.12) pitching for Arizona.
Hernandez has struggled in his four career starts against Arizona with an 0-2 record and 7.80 ERA.
He had a no decision in his start last week when the Diamondbacks beat the Marlins 8-7 in Miami. He allowed five hits and five earned runs with three strikeouts and three walks in four innings.
Castellanos had his first career start against Miami last week in a 5-4 win. He got the victory after not allowing a run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings and striking out four and not issuing a walk.
–Field Level Media