Diamondbacks Beat Nationals on Masterful Outing by Merrill Kelly

Merrill Kelly of the Diamondbacks throws a pitch against the Nationals.
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1

PHOENIX, May 5 — The Arizona Diamondbacks took care of business in the first matchup of their ten-game homestand behind Merrill Kelly and his masterful pitching. They beat the Washington Nationals, 3–1, on Cinco De Mayo Friday and a full moon in front of 16,384 loud and boisterous fans. It was a beautiful 79-degree first pitch temperature at Chase Field with the roof open in downtown Phoenix.

Nationals Take Early Lead

To begin the game, Alex Call struck out for the Nationals. Next up, Luis Garcia hit a home run to left off Merrill Kelly to give the Nationals a quick 1-0 lead. Keibert Ruiz was called out on strikes before Joey Meneses struck out.

The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Josiah Gray. However, he was stranded after Corbin Carroll lined out and Christian Walker grounded to third. Nationals 1, Diamondbacks 0.

Diamondbacks Leave Runners On

In the bottom of the second, Pavin Smith singled. Gabriel Moreno also singled, doing so on a line drive to center field. With runners on first and second, Alek Thomas struck out, and Geraldo Perdomo ended the inning on a fly to right.

Bottom of the Third

In the bottom of the third, the Diamondbacks finally got to Gray. After a swinging Josh Rojas strike out and a Marte fly out, Corbin Carroll hit his fifth home run of the season on a deep ball to left field. Christian Walker followed up a first-pitch brushback with a single, but Smith grounded out to end the inning. Diamondbacks 1, Nationals 1.

Exciting Fourth Inning

In the top of the fourth, Meneses popped out to Walker in foul territory. Jeimer Candelario singled, but Dominic Smith grounded into a double play, Walker to Perdomo with Jeimer Candelario out at second and Dominic Smith out at first on a 3–6 DP.

To start the bottom of the fourth, both Dominic Fletcher and Gabriel Moreno singled. A throwing error by Gray moved them to second and third. A walk to Perdomo brought up Josh Rojas, who hit a high chopper to short. Second base umpire Roberto Ortiz called Perdomo out at second as Fletcher scored.

However, after a review, Perdomo was safe. Marte, up next, hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Moreno. During Carroll’s at-bat, Perdomo was caught trying to steal third when Rojas broke for second and realized Perdomo did not move. Perdomo tried to move and was chased down by catcher Ruiz, who threw to third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who threw to shortstop CJ Abrams, ending the inning. Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1.

Pitching Changes late in the Game

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The Nationals replaced Gray, who had thrown 92 pitches, in the bottom of the sixth with Erasmo Ramirez. He quickly shut down the Diamondbacks on 10 pitches.

The Diamondbacks replaced Kelly with Miguel Castro.  He needed only 11 pitches and received great defense from Rojas with two hard-hit balls at third.

Andrew Chafin entered in the top of the ninth to close out the game and get his fifth save. He had two strikeouts with 15 pitches thrown. Final Score: Arizona 3, Washington 1.

Torey Lovullo

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo mentioned that Kelly was locked down, making all his pitches in the zone. Carroll hitting a home run was a good feeling for him, as he wanted to be back in the lineup. Rojas has developed into a Gold Glove type fielder. He certainly helped with his fielding.

Diamondbacks Notes

The game took 2:12 minutes. It tied for the shortest game at Chase Field this year. … Kelly lowered his ERA to 2.75. … Corbin Carroll hit his fifth homer of the year with a solo homer in the third inning. He has kept his batting average above .300 for six games in a row. … Christian Walker also stayed hot with his fifth multi-hit game in the past week and is 6-for-13 with three home runs in the month of May.

The Diamondbacks and Nationals play again Saturday at 5:10 pm. Tommy Henry (1–0, 6.52 ERA) will take the hill against Mackenzie Gore (3–2, 3.77 ERA). Bally Sports Arizona will broadcast the game.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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