ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks offense get off to hot start in July vs. Rockies

Jul 1, 2022, 7:36 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Colorado Rockies ...

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on July 01, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks (35-42) right-handed pitcher Merrill Kelly wasted no time getting off to a hot start in the month of July with a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies (33-44) at Coors Field on Friday night.

In his first outing and the D-backs’ first game of the month, the Scottsdale Desert Mountain High School alumnus went seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits (one home run) and one walk while striking out three batters over 101 pitches (71 strikes).

“I have had an Achilles’ heel walking people this year,” Kelly told reporters postgame. “Just making sure that I’m staying aggressive and not nitpicking in those counts to make sure I stay ahead.”

Kelly has dominated the Rockies in his two starts against the National League West division rival this season, the first of which was hit best of the year.

Back on May 6 at Chase Field, the 33-year-old right-hander went 8.2 innings and allowed only one run on seven hits and two walks while striking out a season-high eight batters.

Kelly finished just one out short of what would have been the first complete game of his four-year career.

The Diamondbacks couldn’t wait to turn the calendar offensively, as the first two batters of the ballgame on Friday gave Arizona a lead thanks to a leadoff double by Josh Rojas that was followed by an RBI triple from rookie Alek Thomas.

The National League Rookie of the Year candidate had himself a day at the plate as well, adding a two-run home run — his seventh on the year — to left field in the top of the seventh inning to extend the D-backs’ lead to 6-1.

Arizona catcher Carson Kelly and left fielder David Peralta also both took advantage of the warm air and high altitude of a July contest at Coors Field with a pair of solo homers in the top of the second and sixth innings, respectively.

The big flies were Carson Kelly’s second and Peralta’s 10th dinger of the 2022 campaign.

Peralta nearly hit another in the top of the eighth with a blast that hit off the top of the wall to bring in Christian Walker.

Daulton Varsho followed up with an RBI single to bring in Peralta to make it 8-2 in favor of the Diamondbacks.

Manager Torey Lovullo opted to bring in right-handed pitcher Sean Poppen in relief of Merrill Kelly in the bottom of the eighth, who allowed a solo home run to birthday boy Charlie Blackmon, before RHP Luke Weaver closed out the ninth and final frame.

TRAINER’S ROOM

– All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte remained as Arizona’s DH as manager Lovullo is still being cautious with his return from a hamstring injury.

“This is a tricky environment here,” Lovullo said of playing at altitude.

– Diamondbacks LHP Tyler Holton and OF Cooper Hummel made the trip on the taxi squad.

TITLE ENVY

With an off day Thursday in Denver, Lovullo attended the parade for the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

“I didn’t want to miss it. It lets you see what a town can get like backing their boys,” he said. “It’s exciting. I saw a lot of emotion. I saw a lot of excitement from fans and I saw the players on the floats. But I was green with envy, I’m not going to lie to you. That’s what I’m motivated by every single day, to make something like that happen in Arizona.”

UP NEXT

The D-backs go for the series win over the Rockies on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Arizona LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-5, 7.93 ERA) is scheduled to start against Colorado LHP Austin Gomber (3-7, 6.55 ERA).

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly works against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Kris Bryant watches his single off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela waits after giving up a solo home run to Arizona Diamondbacks' Carson Kelly during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' Carson Kelly runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies pitcher Ty Blach works against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Buddy Kennedy, left, catches the throw as Colorado Rockies' C.J. Cron reaches second base with a double during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' Josh Rojas watches his single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Ty Blach during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Elias Diaz reacts after swinging at a pitch from Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta gestures as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Ty Blach during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta gestures to the dugout as he runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Ty Blach during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Kris Bryant reacts after striking out against Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black talks on the bullpen phone during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Ryan McMahon is congratulated as he returns to the dugout after hitting a solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' Geraldo Perdomo, left, hugs Alek Thomas, who had hit a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Robert Stephenson during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Ryan McMahon watches his solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on July 01, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker scores on a double by David Peralta as Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz mishandles the throw during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta watches his RBI double off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Robert Stephenson during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas, right, chats with Denver car dealer Doug Moreland during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers throws to first after forcing out Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho at second base on a ground ball hit by Buddy Kennedy, who was safe during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Charlie Blackmon watches his solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Sean Poppen during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies' Charlie Blackmon watches a replay of his solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Sean Poppen on the big-screen television after returning to the dugout in the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Luke Weaver works against the Colorado Rockies during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Carlos Estevez watches a throw to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Colorado Rockies left fielder Kris Bryant looks over information during the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks' left fielder David Peralta, center fielder Alek Thomas and right fielder Daulton Varsho celebrate the team's win over the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Alek Thomas, front, celebrates with shortstop Geraldo Perdomo after the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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