Merrill Kelly throws 7 scoreless innings, D-backs beat Padres
In a ho-hum affair on Friday night between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres through seven innings, a steady and stellar performance from Merrill Kelly was aided by a seven-run eighth inning that had the D-backs wind up cruising to a 9-0 win.
Kelly went 7.0 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and three walks, striking out nine. It was Kelly’s 12th win of the year and his second scoreless outing in his last three starts.
He was in control throughout. Kelly did not give up more than one baserunner in an inning and no Padres baserunner reached second base against him.
He walked Nick Martini in the first, only for Manny Machado to line into an inning-ending double play. A strikeout and a popout stranded Luis Torrens after a walk in the third and a two-out single from Luis Urias in the fifth had a Torrens flyout follow. Greg Garcia didn’t even see a ball get in play after his one-out single in the sixth inning, with Kelly striking out the next two batters.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side, all that was required was a little spark. The D-backs loaded the bases with no outs in the second, and while Nick Ahmed flew out to shallow right as the next hitter up, Carson Kelly scored two on a single in the next at-bat.
Merrill Kelly hit a slight speed bump in the seventh, walking Manuel Margot to hit 99 pitches and receive a visit from pitching coach Mike Butcher while Yoshihisa Hirano got warm in the D-backs bullpen. That’s where things could start to snowball in a two-run game, but Kelly was fine and had Urias fly out to end his night.
Adam Jones added what at the time felt like an important insurance run for the bullpen in the eighth with his 63rd RBI of the season on a single and two more hitters reached to load the bases for pinch-hitter Jake Lamb.
With one out, Lamb lined out to second. Abraham Almonte became the second pinch-hitter of the inning and he walked, scoring Jones to make it 4-0.
The wheels came off for San Diego when the next batter Josh Rojas hit a three-RBI double to the gap in right to break it open and make it a seven-run advantage.
The bases found themselves with three D-backs on them again after walks for Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker. The next batter Wilmer Flores knocked a two-RBI single into right for the sixth and seventh runs of the inning.
With the game going from a two-run deficit to nine, Lovullo went with Yoan Lopex instead of Hirano in the eighth and Lopez got a much-needed scoreless inning after giving up three earned runs and not getting an out against Miami on Monday.
Jimmie Sherfy closed out the ninth for the D-backs’ second straight win.
The D-backs are in San Diego for the weekend and resume the series on Saturday with a 5:40 p.m. first pitch. You can listen to that game live on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.