PHOENIX (AP) — Merrill Kelly gave up one run and four hits over six quality innings Tuesday night. That’s not quite up to the Diamondbacks’ lofty standards these days, but it’ll certainly do.
Kelly gave Arizona another stingy pitching performance, Carson Kelly added a two-run homer and the Diamondbacks stayed on a roll with a 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres.
Coming off a doubleheader sweep in Atlanta on Sunday in which Madison Bumgarner pitched a no-hitter that doesn’t count in the record book and Zac Gallen threw a one-hitter in a pair of seven-inning shutouts, Merrill Kelly kept up the mound mastery.
“After watching Zac and Bum do their thing, everyone needs to step up their game,” he said.
The Diamondbacks have won seven of eight, improving to 12-11 for the season. It’s the first time they’ve been above .500 this year.
“The reason we’re playing good baseball right now is our starting pitching,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Easy to say that after Atlanta, but even before that, we’ve had some really good pitching the past 10 days or so.”
Merrill Kelly (2-2) struck out five and lowered his ERA to 6.33 after struggling in his first four starts of the season.
Carson Kelly’s long, high-arching homer in the sixth pushed Arizona ahead 5-1 and chased San Diego starter Chris Paddack (1-3) from the game. It was the catcher’s sixth homer of the season.
“I was just looking for a heater, staying with my approach,” Carson Kelly said. “He left a pitch up in the zone, and put a good swing on it.”
The Diamondbacks took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Trent Grisham dropped Nick Heath’s line drive into the left-center gap. It looked as though Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar could have made the easier play, but Grisham called him off and the ball ricocheted off his glove and rolled to the wall.
Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed scored while Heath made it all the way to third. It was a tough break for Paddack, who was very effective for much of the night. He gave up three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.
“He was as good as I’ve seen him in a long time tonight,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “He pitched better than the line. I think he deserved better.”
Fernando Tatis Jr. scored San Diego’s lone run after reaching base in the sixth on a leadoff double.
THE NO-HITTER THAT WASN’T
Bumgarner’s won’t go into the official list of no-hitters. MLB’s eight-man committee on statistical accuracy decided in 1991 that a no-hitter was a game of nine or more innings that ended with no hits.
It took Bumgarner 98 pitches to get through the seven innings. Lovullo hinted that Bumgarner would have been allowed to throw somewhere in the range of 120 to 130 pitches before getting taken out of the game if he had been trying for a nine-inning no-hitter.
It’s a decision the manager is glad he didn’t have to make.
“He would have body-slammed me off the mound,” Lovullo said, laughing. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Arizona did have some fun with the non-accomplishment. The team sent a press release on Tuesday entitled “D-backs ‘Will Not’ Create Special Ticket Offer For The No-Hitter That Didn’t Happen.”
The club is offering $14 tickets for Friday’s and Saturday’s games against Colorado, commemorating that the D-backs pitchers gave up just one hit through 14 innings against the Braves on Sunday.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said OF Ketel Marte (hamstring) had an encouraging follow-up MRI on his injury but still hasn’t done a lot of running. … OF Tim Locastro (dislocated finger) got his stitches out and will start gripping a bat soon. … 1B Christian Walker (strained oblique) took batting practice at the alternate site. … RHP Joakim Soria (strained calf) was scheduled to throw in an alternate site game. … RHP Chris Devenski (restricted list) is back with the team and throwing at the alternate site. … OF Kole Calhoun left in the sixth inning after stealing third base. He said his left hamstring tightened up on him.
“Little sore right now,” Calhoun said. “We’ll see what happens. MRI tomorrow.”
The Padres and Diamondbacks meet again Wednesday night. San Diego LHP Ryan Weathers (1-0, 0.59) will try to continue the terrific start to his career. It will be the 21-year-old’s third major league start. Arizona counters with RHP Taylor Widener (1-0, 2.82).
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