Scherzer strikes out seven in victory
Upton, Lopez each drive in three to pace D-backs
PHOENIX -- D-backs starter Max Scherzer didn't back down when the Rangers fouled off his pitches. He didn't slow down when his pitch count blew past the century mark.
He just kept pitching and pitching.
The right-hander fed the Texas visitors a steady stream of fastballs, breaking balls and offspeed pitches on his way to his third consecutive victory in the D-backs' 8-2 win against the the American League sluggers at Chase Field on Tuesday night.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the D-backs.
"They fouled off a lot of pitches, they got in a position to hit and make our pitchers work and they did that with Max," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "They were building his pitch count and trying to get him out of the game. It was good for him to reach down a little bit deep and get his six innnings with some success."
Scherzer left the field exhausted and it's hard to blame him. He pitched six solid innings and struck out seven. He also threw a season-high 119-pitches.
"My arm is tired in that situation but I've been built up to 110 [pitches] so it's really not out of the question to be at 120," Scherzer said. "I was just trying to throw strikes in there and I think I did a pretty good job. I was trying to make them put the ball in play."
Scherzer had help.
In the bottom of the first, right fielder Justin Upton hit a two-run homer off Rangers starter Matt Harrison for an early 2-0 lead. The D-backs tacked on two more in the second inning on a two-run double by second baseman Felipe Lopez.
"To put up early runs for Scherzer, he felt comfortable," Lopez said. "He pitched a great game. Anytime we can score early and help the pitcher be productive like that, it's awesome."
In the fourth, Upton and Lopez each drove in a run as part of a three-run inning to extend the D-backs' lead to 7-2. Lopez also scored in the sixth inning, first hitting a triple and then scooting home on an errant throw back to the pitcher from Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the team's eighth run.
"It was kind of weird," Lopez said. "I heard the crowd so I turned around and took off right away. I didn't know what was going on. I just went."
Lopez wasn't the only offensive star of the night. Upton finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The first three hitters in the D-backs' lineup -- Lopez, Stephen Drew, and Upton -- combined to go 8-for-13 with seven RBIs and five runs scored.
"The quality of at-bats at the top of the order were excellent," Hinch said. "It's nice to get a number of guys in a row getting quality at-bats and driving in runs."
Upton's development has not gone unnoticed by his manager. Hinch said he is pleased with his right fielder's intensity and effort and he's also happy to see Upton develop into one of the top hitters in the league.
"He's a legitimate three-hole hitter in the Major Leagues," Hinch said. "I look across the dugout at every team and they seem to have a guy that ties your stomach in knots, and I hope Justin is doing that to the opposing team."
Upton said he has grown comfortable hitting third and says his confidence has always been high despite a slow offensive start at the beginning of the season.
"It was a little different at first when I first got put there, but I'm starting get a feel for hitting third," Upton said. "That's where I like to hit."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.