Grit Index: D-backs pound Padres behind Delgado's dynamite outing
On Friday, the Atlanta Braves sat Justin Upton in favor of Evan Gattis and Jose Constanza while their former players, Prado and Delgado, shined in the Diamondbacks' 10-0 win over the Padres at Chase Field.
Delgado, who failed to make the team's 25-man roster, tossed the first complete game shutout of his career, holding the Padres to just three hits and one walk over 100 pitches.
Despite allowing the first hitter of the game, shortstop Everth Cabrera, to reach base, Delgado managed five clean innings in the game, matching the magnificence of his team's offense, which compiled 10 runs against opposing starter Eric Stults and the Padres bullpen.
The effort was much-needed for the Diamondbacks, who had just earned a hard-fought split with the Chicago Cubs in their previous series and trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers by .5 games coming into Friday's contest.
It was evident early on that Delgado was pitching to contact and mixing his pitches with excellence, featuring a two-seam and four-seam fastball, a changeup and an occasional curve.
"He took advantage of us scoring early, and just attacked the strike zone," catcher Wil Nieves said.
Manager Kirk Gibson also commented on Delgado's aggressive pitching against the Padres.
"He had 100 pitches, 70 of them were strikes. He pounds the zone, keeps the ball down," Gibson said. "Fastball is good, he throws it over both sides of the plate and his changeup is getting better and better."
The only other complete game shutout for the Diamondbacks this season came from Brandon McCarthy, who shutout the Miami Marlins on the road on May 18.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks managed 17 hits without getting one from either Paul Goldschmidt or Gerardo Parra, who largely carried the team's offensive load for the first half of the season. Instead, Prado -- who went 3-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI -- and Cliff Pennington -- who also went 3-for-4, scoring twice and driving in a run -- led the way.
To go along with his first shutout, Delgado got the first multi-hit game of his career -- going 2-for-3 with a perfect sacrifice bunt, which left him on second base following a throwing error by Padres catcher Nick Hundley.
Cody Ross -- who homered off the left field foul pole in the seventh inning, A.J. Pollock, Aaron Hill, and Nieves also got a pair of hits on the night. Hill, however, exited the game after his second at-bat -- an RBI double, like his first -- due to stiffness in his ailing right hamstring.
The Diamondbacks said the move was precautionary and that the second baseman had a scheduled day off on Saturday, though he'd be available to pinch hit and would likely return to the lineup on Sunday.
For the Padres, starting pitcher Stults allowed seven runs in just five innings pitched. In his previous three starts, he had allowed just five runs total and he threw a one-run, two-hit complete game against the Diamondbacks in his previous start, back on June 14 at Petco Park.
Martin Prado is hitting .347 (35-for-101) since June 25 with a .402 on-base percentage and 11 extra-base hits (four home runs).
Paul Goldschmidt recorded his first 0-for-5 performance of the season, striking out three times -- something he has done in just three games all season.
- Gerardo Parra received the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization's Heart and Hustle award prior to Friday's game from general manager Kevin Towers.
- Aaron Hill is listed as day-to-day with right hamstring stiffness.
- Miguel Montero was available to pinch hit on Friday, despite suffering from back inflammation and sitting out for the fourth straight game. He took batting practice in the batting cage and on the field and is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.
He Said It
"We got pitching, defense, and hitting all together," Nieves said. "This is what I've been waiting for all year, because we are able to do it and we haven't had all three together, but hopefully this is the start of a good thing so we can show people what we're able to do."
The D-backs and Padres play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday, July 27 at 5:10 p.m. MST. Southpaw Tyler Skaggs (2-2, 4.11) will get the call for Arizona. He will be opposed by right-hander Andrew Cashner (6-5, 3.84) for San Diego.
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