Saunders, Upton, Newcomer Pena Shine As Diamondbacks Best Royals 7-2

Wily Mo Pena, just barely brought up from the minor leagues to play DH for the Arizona Diamondbacks during their interleague road trip, homered in his second at-bat as the D-backs beat the Kansas City Royals in the first game of their three-game series 7-2. Pena had been killing minor league pitching, having hit 21 hromeruns so far this season.

Joe Saunders began the game allowing a homerun on his first pitch to Alex Gordon, continuing his pattern of allowing runs in the first inning, but locked things down after that. He gave up only six hits and three walks in seven innings of work, allowing just the two runs. 

After Pena's fifth-inning homer tied the game, Arizona took the lead the next inning as Justin Upton's double drove in Kelly Johnson. With three runs in the seventh inning, thanks to a two-run triple by Gerardo Parra after a hit by Miguel Montero and a double by Juan Miranda, which was followed by an RBI groundout by Ryan Roberts. Chris Young added to the lead with a two-run homer in the eighth, his 15th of the year. 

After Saunders left after seven innings, David Hernandez and Aaron Heilman closed the game with two scoreless innings. The win puts Arizona in a good position to win the series in KC, as their two aces, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson are set to go in the two remaining games. 

Saunders, with the win, brings his record to 4-7 and lowers his ERA to a respectable 4.35. 

Justin Upton continued his torrid hitting, collecting two more extra base hits. His season average is now .305.

For more reactions and coverage of the Arizona Diamondbacks, visit the AZ Snake Pit.

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