The Arizona Diamondbacks have been baseball’s best first-inning team

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    • The Arizona Diamondbacks have been baseball’s best first-inning team

      PHOENIX (AP) — and they added to those numbers with Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer Wednesday night.The way Clay Buchholz has been pitching Sean Doolittle Jersey , it was more than enough.Goldschmidt homered to set the all-time mark at Chase Field, Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings and the Diamondbacks earned a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.“It seems like every day. This team is pretty amazing when you look at the runs scored in the first inning,” Buchholz said.The Diamondbacks have a knack for jumping on teams early, leading the majors in first-inning runs with 109.Goldschmidt increased the total with his two-run shot off Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2), passing Luis Gonzalez with his 96th homer at Chase Field. Goldschmidt had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and has reached safely in 27 straight.Buchholz (7-2) yielded four hits and struck out seven with no walks for his eighth straight game of at least five innings and three runs or fewer allowed.David Peralta also hit a two-run shot to homer for the third straight game. The Diamondbacks have won six of seven to maintain a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West over Colorado.“It all started with Clay tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He goes out and gives us seven scoreless and really set the tone for us for the course of this game.”The injury-depleted Angels had five hits — two by Rene Rivera — and lost for the fifth time in six games.“I thought we had some pretty good looks at him (Buchholz) , hit some balls hard, but he got in his rhythm and started to change some speeds midway through,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.Buchholz has been sharp the past two months, entering Wednesday’s game 5-1 with 2.00 ERA over seven starts, including his 10th career complete game against San Diego last Thursday. He kept the Angels off balance most of the night, allowing three singles and a double.Despaigne gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings against Texas on Friday in his second start since being acquired from Miami on Aug. 14 for cash. The right-hander served up Goldschmidt’s first-inning homer and a run-scoring single to Nick Ahmed in the fourth.Despaigne allowed three runs and five hits in four innings.“He made a couple of mistakes: One to Goldschmidt and the other one to Ahmed Brian Goodwin Jersey ,” Rivera said. “Besides that he was OK. His pitch count was a little high but overall he did OK.”PUJOLS’ PLAYAngels 1B Albert Pujols made a spectacular play in the sixth inning to take a hit away from Steven Souza Jr. Souza hit a ball off the end of the bat down the line and Pujols made a diving stop, tossing the ball to pitcher Ty Buttrey as he was rolling over to get the out.PERALTA’S RUNPeralta has been one of the best hitters in baseball in August, going 21 for 51 with eight homers and 14 RBIs in his past 12 games. He has six homers in nine games and 25 on the season after going 2 for 4 against the Angels.“I keep saying it, he’s on his way to having a special year,” Lovullo said.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: 2B David Fletcher was replaced by Kaleb Cowart in the fourth after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the top half. Scioscia said Fletcher is day-to-day with a bruise and hopes to have him back Friday against Houston.UP NEXTAngels: LHP Andrew Heaney is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Astros going into Friday’s game.Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley is 4-0 with a 3.26 ERA over his last eight starts heading into Friday’s home game against Seattle. The Pittsburgh Pirates added one of the best bullpen arms available prior to Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline by trading for right-handerKeone Kela.The Pirates acquired Kela from the Texas Rangers in exchange for pitcher Taylor Hearn and a player to be named, per Adam Berry of"I've never played there. Heard from a bunch of guys that it's a fun place to play ," Kela said, per Berry. "It's a baseball city. It's family-oriented. Very happy to go over there and get the same love I did here."Kela was a noteworthy addition for more than just what he'll bring in the stretch run of this season. Unlike many non-waiver trade deadline acquisitions, he is not a rental. According to Spotrac, he will not be an unrestricted free agent until 2021."Kela is an experienced, quality, high-leverage reliever who projects to be a significant addition to our late-game options for the next few seasons Brandon Kintzler Jersey ," general manager Neal Huntington said, per Berry.The right-hander has posted a 3.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 44 strikeouts and 24 saves in 36.2 innings this season. While Felipe Vazquez figures to remain the closer for the Pirates, Kela gives manager Clint Hurdle another bullpen weapon to unleash in high-leverage situations alongside Kyle Crick, Edgar Santana and Richard Rodriguez.He has always featured electrifying stuff and finished with a 2.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 2015 and 2.79 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 2017. While he struggled in 2016 with a 6.09 ERA and 1.38 WHIP , he still had 45 strikeouts in 34 innings and showed flashes of the head-turning talent that made him a trade target this year.Pittsburgh added Kela with an eye on October given how talented and deep bullpens can shorten games in the pressure-packed environment of the postseason. It is still facing an uphill battle but is well within striking distance at 3.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second wild-card spot and seven games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.Kela has appeared in four playoff games and sports a 1.93 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. Having someone like that waiting in the bullpen takes some of the responsibility off starters and creates a situation in which opponents may press if they fall behind early.Kela is just 25 years old, too.The Pirates made one of the more noteworthy additions of the trade deadline as they chase the Cubs, Diamondbacks and others in the National League playoff race.