For the second time in as many weeks, former West Virginia pitcher Michael Grove toed the rubber on a Major League Baseball mound Tuesday afternoon.
Grove, a second-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, was on the bump making his fourth major league start, and his second against NL West rival Arizona.
The Wheeling, West Virginia native got off to a good start, and set a career-high in strikeouts in a single game. However, he is still looking for the first win of his career.
Grove began his afternoon by striking out three of the four batters he faced in the opening frame. The rookie hurler used his big, breaking curveball to record all three punchouts in the first.
The former Mountaineer picked up two more strikeouts over the next two innings, but he also gave up two runs. Arizona tied the game at 1-1 with a two-out, ground-rule double in the second and then took the lead on a solo home run an inning later.
Grove has surrendered four home runs this year, all of which have come off the bat of a Diamondbacks hitter.
The right-hander picked up strikeouts Nos. six and seven in the fourth inning, setting a new single-game career-high. However, Grove was unable to get out of the inning unscathed, as a bloop single into left field gave Arizona a 3-1 advantage.
The Diamondbacks touched up the rookie for a total of five runs (three earned) on nine hits.
Grove, who completed five innings for the second-straight outing, has now made five appearances at the big league level. That matches his career-high, which he established last week against the D-backs.
In all, he has pitched 19 1/3 innings, and surrendered 23 hits and 12 earned runs. He has struck out 18 and walked seven. His career ERA is 4.66.
By being part of the Dodgers’ 40-man roster at the end of August, Grove is eligible to pitch in the postseason for Los Angeles. The Dodgers’ pitching staff has dealt with a multitude of injuries throughout this season, and it’s possible Grove’s services could be needed in October.
Grove still ranks among the Dodgers organization’s top prospects.