Merrill Kelly takes no-hitter into 7th inning before Brewers blow out Diamondbacks

Apr 11, 2023, 10:25 PM | Updated: Apr 12, 2023, 1:27 pm

Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Milwaukee B...

Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field on April 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly flirted with history for two-thirds of Tuesday night’s 7-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Unfortunately for most of the 17,069 fans in attendance at Chase Field, Kelly (0-2) lost his no-hitter on a solo home run to Willy Adames to lead off the seventh inning.

Things went from bad to worse for D-backs (7-5) manager Torey Lovullo and Co., as the inning ballooned into a five-run explosion despite the Brewers (8-3) only mustering three hits in the frame.

That’s because Kelly walked two hitters before being replaced by right-hander Miguel Castro, who gave up two hits and walked in a run. Castro was only able to record two outs prior to lefty Kyle Nelson getting the final out of the inning.

Despite only giving up one hit, Kelly’s final line included three runs on four walks and one hit-by-pitch while striking out seven over 98 pitches (58 strikes) in 6.0+ innings of work.

“I feel like me and (catcher Gabriel Moreno) were just on a really good page,” he said of his outing postgame. “Tonight was definitely the best I felt in a while.

“Feel like I could execute pretty much everything when I needed it. Change up was really good, curveball was landing when I needed it to. I have to definitely hand a lot of it to Gabby. We’re definitely working on a really good page.”

But while Kelly was earning his quality start, Brewers starter Corbin Burnes was throwing a gem of his own.

The Milwaukee right-hander almost went the distance, striking out a whopping eight batters to no walks across 8.0 innings pitched on only 89 pitches (65 strikes).

In fact, the only two D-backs to reach base against Burnes came out of the No. 6 and 7 holes, as Jake McCarthy had a base hit and Moreno had two, respectively. Compare that to Arizona’s No. 1-5 hitters, who went a combined 0-for-15 with five strikeouts against the Brewers starter.

Those batters featured Josh Rojas, Ketel Marte, Pavin Smith, Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll. However, Rojas’ walk and Smith’s RBI single both came against former D-backs pitcher Joel Payamps in the ninth after Burnes had been taken out.

“Their starting pitcher was really good. We’ve just got to turn the page, spit it out,” Lovullo said postgame. “We’ve been playing good baseball. I think I expect this team to do that. They’ve been very resilient.

“They’ve been adaptable to any environment and they’re going to come out and give a great effort (Wednesday). So that’s the focus that I have right now. Sometimes you run into this type of Buzzsaw and … I’m already cycling through this one and moving on.”


Right-handed reliever Jose Ruiz made his Diamondbacks debut in the eighth after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations on Sunday.


The D-backs will look to win the rubber match and the series on Wednesday afternoon at 12:40 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and

Arizona righty Drey Jameson (2-0, 2.16) is scheduled to make his first start of the season against Milwaukee right-hander Janson Junk, who will be making his 2023 debut.

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