The assignment was brief and unexpected: fill in for starter Ian Kennedy while he heals a cut on his finger. But that didn’t faze Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The Diamondbacks couldn’t have asked for much more from the 22-year-old, who struck out a career-best nine batters for a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers in front of 30,638 in Monday’s first game of a doubleheader at Chase Field. Skaggs was given a similar task last season, starting Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Marlins. That was Skaggs’ first career win, and he was perhaps even more impressive this go-around. After allowing a hit in each of the first three innings, including a hit to Elvis Andrus to start the game, Skaggs was in command in his final three innings. The movement on his curveball fooled more than a few Rangers hitters, with seven of his nine strikeouts coming on swing and misses. Skaggs went six innings, giving up only those three hits and walking three through 102 pitches. Since he was recalled as the 26th man for the doubleheader after Kennedy suffered the cut while washing dishes, Skaggs will report back to Triple-A Reno after Game 2. His counterpart, Rangers pitcher Martin Perez, was also making his first start of the season after being recalled from Triple-A, but the Diamondbacks weren’t very welcoming. Martin Prado had an RBI single in the bottom of the first – his seventh consecutive at-bat with a hit, which tied a club record.
Tyler Skaggs leads Diamondbacks over Rangers 5-3 in Game 1
Arizona Republic | May 28