Merrill Kelly, D-backs take care of Rockies in series opener

Apr 28, 2023, 8:57 PM | Updated: 9:59 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 April 28, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks blew out the Colorado Rockies 9-1 at Coors Field on Friday evening behind six innings of one-run ball by Merrill Kelly.

The D-backs (15-12) ran away with the game by scoring eight runs in the final three frames, including a five-spot in the ninth inning.

Kelly bounced back from a five-walk outing last weekend against the San Diego Padres with one walk on Friday along with five strikeouts. The veteran produced 13 swings and misses, four with the slider.

He still faced holes to dig out of, as Colorado (8-19) had runners reach scoring position in each of the first three innings. But Kelly settled in by retiring nine straight batters in innings 4-6.

Friday was Kelly’s third start this year of at least six innings out of six appearances, and he threw 94 pitches.

“I felt like I missed more spots than I hit,” Kelly said. “I’m happy I was able to throw some strikes today.”

Kelly exited with a 4-1 lead, and the bullpen — Scott McGough, Miguel Castro and Joe Mantiply — did not allow a run.

For much of the game, a Ketel Marte solo home run was all Arizona had on the scoreboard, but the D-backs produced three runs with only one hit in the seventh.

Christian Walker doubled in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Corbin Carroll walked. Josh Rojas hit a sharp grounder to third, but an error on the potential double play led to a run and Carroll reaching third. He scored on a Gabriel Moreno sacrifice fly.

“Just had some quality at bats at the right time,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “The right guys stepped up in the right situation over and drove big runs and ran the bases well. We played good defense, got some outstanding starting pitching, so there’s no mystery; when we do that we’re going to win some baseball games.”

Arizona started the ninth with three straight hits, including a two-run double by Rojas.

The ball bounded off the top of the wall twice, and Carroll nearly beat Geraldo Perdomo home despite started a base behind.

“I thought he eventually would have caught up to him,” Lovullo said. “He’s one of the fastest human beings I’ve ever been around.”

The win was Arizona’s third in four games.

Up next

The D-backs play for a series win on Saturday at 5:10 p.m. with Tommy Henry facing RHP Noah Davis.

Catch the game on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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