Diamondbacks’ Slade Cecconi has best career start in win vs. Nationals

Jun 18, 2024, 6:13 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm

Slade Cecconi...

Slade Cecconi #43 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at the Nationals Park on June 18, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Slade Cecconi bounced back from a rough outing with the best start of his MLB career on Tuesday against the Washington Nationals.

He gave Arizona (36-37) six scoreless innings for the first time as a big leaguer, walking off the mound with a lead in a 5-0 win over the Nationals (35-37).

Cecconi gave up seven runs and failed to get more than nine outs last week against the Angels, and he was dialed in at Nationals Park.

The 24-year-old was perfect through three innings with only 34 pitches. Cecconi has held opponents to 8-for-78 the first time through the batting order (.103).

CJ Abrams delivered Washington’s first hit but was quickly thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Gabriel Moreno.

Cecconi allowed three hits without walking a single batter. His seven-game streak allowing at least on home run ended. And he was fired up after catching Washington’s Lane Thomas looking to end his outing.

The D-backs pulled Cecconi at 70 pitches (52 strikes) with a fully loaded bullpen.

“These young starters have to turn the page,” assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye told Arizona Sports’ Wolf and Luke pregame.

“Slade has really good stuff. I think it’s well chronicled when he gets second, third time through lineups, hitters make adjustments and he has to make those adjustments and counterpunch. I think he’s learning that at the big league level, whether or not it’s too early for him to be up here, he belongs. We expect him to perform like every other starting pitcher that we anticipate running out there.”

Justin Martinez and Bryce Jarvis got it done in relief to keep the shutout intact. Arizona has four shutout victories this season.

Diamondbacks get going early

The D-backs got Cecconi an early lead to work with, as Ketel Marte blasted a two-run home run off Nationals starter Jake Irvin in the first inning. It was Marte’s 15th home run of the season.

Corbin Carroll tripled home a run in the fifth inning and scored on a Marte sacrifice fly to take a 4-0 lead.

Carroll — who had an MRI on Monday for left side tightness that came back clean — went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base. Marte was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

The Diamondbacks out-hit the Nationals 14-4. They have recorded at least nine hits in seven of eight games.

Another trend to continue was the lack of close games. Arizona’s last 10 contests have been decided by five or more runs.

Important wild card series

The Nationals entered the three-game set 0.5 games ahead of the D-backs in a crowded NL wild card field.

Arizona is climbing back to .500 with an 11-5 record in June.

The series continues Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. Brandon Pfaadt will pitch for Arizona, while former Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin is probable for Washington.

The game will air on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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