A.J. Pollock has achieved much this season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ centerfielder backed up what we saw from him in 2014, before an injury put an early end to a promising season. He is no longer a breakout star but a star by title. This year, Pollock became an All-Star for the first time.
On Friday in a 6-3 Diamondbacks victory against the San Diego Padres, he achieved another first, drilling a second-inning grand slam to put Arizona ahead 6-0.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 26, 2015
With that, here’s a non-first for Pollock: Putting the D-backs on his back.
As Padres starter Casey Kelly settled down for three clean frames following the walloping he took in the first two, the D-backs’ starting pitcher, Rubby De La Rosa, allowed a run in each of fourth, fifth and sixth innings — only two were earned.
Those scores weren’t a back-breaker but it might’ve been considering what happened following Pollock’s grand slam.
Arizona wouldn’t record any hit in the final seven innings.
The Diamondbacks lined, popped or grounded out on all but three at-bats for the rest of their evening. Kelly teamed with five members of the Padres’ bullpen to strike out just two more Arizona players from the third through the ninth inning. They also walked one.
Otherwise, Arizona’s offense went cold.
Good thing it caught on to Kelly’s heat early on.
The D-backs jumped on the San Diego starter to begin their evening, scoring two first-inning runs thanks to three consecutive one-out hits by Phil Gosselin, Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt. They loaded the bases in the second, setting up Pollock to connect on Kelly’s changeup on a 2-2 count.
All six of Arizona’s hits were in the first two innings.
Two of those were courtesy Pollock, whose five RBIs, to nobody’s surprise, was a career high.
A career-high 5 RBIs (on two hits) for A.J. Pollock and it's only the second inning. A quick look at his spray chart: pic.twitter.com/ArmWjP2rgH
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) September 26, 2015
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