Pavin Smith’s first career grand slam propels D-backs past Cardinals

Apr 17, 2023, 7:30 PM | Updated: 9:53 pm

Pavin Smith continues to roll at the plate after being called up from Triple-A Reno earlier this month as his grand slam on Monday night in St. Louis helped the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cardinals, 6-3.

It was the 27-year-old’s first career grand slam and he now has one home run and nine RBIs on the season with a batting average of .333 in six games.

Smith didn’t make the big league club out of spring training but was called up on April 8 when Kyle Lewis was put on the injured list with an illness.

His blast was part of a five-run seventh inning to grab the lead back after the Cardinals tied the game 1-1 on an RBI double by Willson Contreras.

Ketel Marte began the inning with his second home run of the year. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed that up with a double and back-to-back walks to Christian Walker and Corbin Carroll loaded the bases for Smith who sent a 2-2 curveball from reliever Andre Pallante into the right field seats.

“I thought he was coming back with the fastball,” Smith told the Bally Sports Arizona broadcast after the game.

“I didn’t think he was going to throw it (the curveball) again. Just trying to battle, get our guys in from scoring position. Guy on third, less than two outs, trying to hit something into the air and hit it out.”

Smith, who batted .220 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 75 games last season, used his time in Reno to work on some things.

“I had some stuff I needed to work on too, so it wasn’t a terrible thing to be down there able to work on stuff,” he said.

The offense supported Merrill Kelly’s good performance on the mound to earn his first win of the season, only allowing five hits and one run in six innings while striking out three.

Kelly also didn’t walk a batter, a good sign for the right-hander who was hurt by 12 combined walks in his first two starts.

José Ruiz allowed a two-run home run to Alec Burleson in the eighth inning to pull the game closer, but Andrew Chafin slammed the door with a perfect ninth inning for the save.

The D-backs (10-7) play game two of the series against the Cardinals (7-10) on Tuesday as Drey Jameson is scheduled to get his second start of the season for the D-backs against Jordan Montgomery.

First pitch is at 4:45 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and

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