Merrill Kelly exits another D-backs start with hamstring cramp

Aug 24, 2023, 9:07 PM | Updated: 9:56 pm

Merrill Kelly pitches vs. Reds...

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Chase Field on August 24, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly left Thursday’s game with a trainer in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds.

Kelly was seven innings into a wonderful outing before appearing frustrated following a warmup pitch prior to the top of the eighth inning. He began limping before having manager Torey Lovullo, pitching coach Brett Strom and trainers come out to look at him. Kelly was taken out.

The right-hander has been here before, exiting a start earlier in the month on Aug. 9 under similar circumstances. Kelly was through six scoreless innings, and after one pitch to a batter, showed visible discomfort before getting pulled from the game. He said afterward it was a cramp in his right hamstring, something he has dealt with in the past and that it was not going to be a worry in the long term.

Lovullo confirmed after Thursday’s game that it was again a right hamstring cramp and again said he should be fine for his next start.

Kelly on Thursday had perhaps his best start of 2023, striking out a dozen and allowing just one baserunner on a double. He was replaced by left-hander Kyle Nelson, who immediately gave up a game-tying solo home run to his first batter. Later in the inning after Nelson walked a batter, reliever Miguel Castro gave up a RBI single to put the Reds in front.

Corbin Carroll answered in the bottom-half with a go-ahead two-run homer and Paul Sewald shut the door in the ninth for a 3-2 D-backs win.

It has been a superb season for Kelly. His ERA now sits at 2.97 through 23 appearances.

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