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Nelson, Fletcher and McCarthy power the Diamondbacks to a 3-1 win over the Angels

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ryne Nelson throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ryne Nelson throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BY DAN GREENSPAN contributing

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ryne Nelson knew what Shohei Ohtani had done in June, slugging 15 home runs to set a new Los Angeles Angels record for most in a month.

Staring down the most feared hitter in the game, the Arizona Diamondbacks rookie pitcher stepped up en route to arguably his best performance so far as a major leaguer.

Nelson worked 7 1/3 strong innings, including striking out Ohtani twice, and Dominic Fletcher and Jake McCarthy had RBIs as the Diamondbacks beat the Angels 3-1 on Saturday night.

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“You try not to get a little like starstruck or whatever the term would be, but when I’m out there I don’t really see the hitter in the box,” Nelson said. “I see the catcher. I see what we’re trying to execute. So, for me, it’s blocking out that extra noise.”

The Diamondback scored all their runs against the Angels’ bullpen and clinched first series win since taking two of three against Cleveland in mid-June.

Nelson (5-4) was catalyst for Arizona, giving up one run, three hits and one walk while striking out six.

“He stood his ground and stood on his stuff, and went out there and make pitches, and it showed up,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.

On Sunday, the Diamondbacks will go for their first series sweep since taking three games from Detroit on June 9-11.

Anthony Rendon hit his second home run of the season for Los Angeles, which has lost four in a row. Ohtani was hitless in four at-bats and Mike Trout went 0 for 3.

“We’re facing some really good arms, and it doesn’t get any easier,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “We just got to be better.”

Arizona took the lead in the sixth inning against Angels reliever Sam Bachman (1-2), who gave up a leadoff single and hit a batter after replacing Tyler Anderson. Dominic Fletcher hit a ground ball to short that his brother, David, couldn’t field despite a diving try, scoring Emmanuel Rivera and knotting the score at 1.

“I knew something was gonna give,” Lovullo said. “We were just applying a lot of pressure. We had some traffic, and things were moving in a really good direction for us. Just somebody getting that big hit and happened to be Dom. Hits one by his brother, I’m sure they’ll be talking about that at some point tonight.”

Rendon then made a bad throw on Ketel Marte’s grounder, pulling first baseman Hunter Renfroe off the bag. Nick Ahmed scored on the error and Arizona took a 2-1 lead.

McCarthy extended the lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning when his fifth triple of the season scored Gabriel Moreno.

Scott McGough threw a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save as Arizona won for the fourth time in six games.

Rendon opened the scoring with a solo homer to left field in the fourth inning. He had been struggling at the plate last month, hitting .060 (2 for 33) with one RBI while also dealing with a left wrist injury that sidelined him for two weeks.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: LF Corbin Carroll (right shoulder soreness) did not play for the second straight day. Lovullo said Carroll was available off the bench after participating in batting practice.

Angels: Ohtani will have his next start at San Diego pushed back to allow an extra day of recovery after coming out early against the Chicago White Sox last Tuesday because of a cracked fingernail. RHP Jamie Barria will move up in the rotation and throw on Monday to begin the three-game series against the Padres.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (10-2) will try for his fourth straight win on Sunday. He allowed four runs in six innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, but still came out on the right end of a 8-4 victory.

Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (1-5) has allowed one run in his past 14 innings, giving up a solo homer while striking out 10 in Los Angeles’ 2-1 walk-off win against the White Sox on Monday.

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