PHOENIX (AP)The Arizona Diamondbacks were refreshed and ready after the four-day All-Star break, playing arguably their best game of the season in a lopsided 10-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Carson Kelly started the team’s offensive onslaught with a laser-beam double to lead off the bottom of the first, Ketel Marte added a three-run homer in the third and Daulton Varsho clobbered a 451-foot solo shot in the sixth. On the mound, Zac Gallen delivered seven innings of shutout ball, giving up just two hits.
”All around, it was a very solid game,” Kelly said. ”Offense, defense, pitching. I think the break helped and we’ll try to continue to ride this wave.”
The All-Star break didn’t provide much relief for the Nationals, who lost for the 16th time in 18 games.
Gallen (5-2) took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before Cesar Hernandez sent a soft liner with two outs that deflected off Gallen’s glove and fell behind the mound. Gallen, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo and Marte all converged on the ball, but no one had time to throw out the speedy Hernandez.
”I felt like I had all four or five pitches today, good command of them,” Gallen said. ”You like to think every time you have four or five pitches, you can throw a no-hitter.”
Gallen struck out seven and walked none.
”He was looking like he could potentially throw a no-hitter,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”I was probably the most satisfied person when he gave up that hit. It’s a stressful time when you’re talking about potential pitch counts. He had good stuff and it obviously showed up through seven innings.”
Marte launched his ninth homer of the season in the third, giving the D-backs a 4-0 lead. He hit a changeup from lefty Patrick Corbin (4-13) to center field where it just cleared the wall above the 413-foot sign.
It was another rough outing for Corbin, the veteran left-hander who came into the game with a 5.87 ERA. He gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings, walking one and striking out seven.
Daulton Varsho added a mammoth solo shot to right field – turning on Jordan Weems’ pitch for his 13th homer of the season – to give the D-backs a 6-0 lead in the sixth. Kelly and Varsho both had three hits.
Washington star Juan Soto singled in the seventh inning, extending his on-base streak to 28 games, which is the longest of his career.
”We hit some balls hard, but they’re on the ground,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. ”We can’t get the ball in the air. We’ve got to start driving the ball and getting them in the air.”
The Nationals fell to 31-64, the worst mark in the big leagues.
NATS SIGN DRAFT PICKS
The Nationals announced the signing of several of their draft picks from earlier this month, including outfielder Elijah Green, who was taken with the No. 5 overall choice.
Nationals: Placed RHP Tyler Clippard on the 15-day IL retroactive to July 19. Promoted RHP Hunter Harvey from Triple-A and reinstated RHP Victor Arano from the injured list. … LHP Josh Rogers is done with a rehabilitation assignment and been sent to Triple-A.
Diamondbacks: Marte was playing second base for the first time in about a month. He’s been used as a designated hitter while nursing a sore left hamstring. … RHP Zach Davies threw a bullpen on Friday. He’s been on the 15-day IL since June 28 because of right shoulder inflammation.
The teams play again on Saturday night. The D-backs will send LHP Madison Bumgarner (5-9, 3.83 ERA) to the mound. The Nationals will counter with veteran RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-1, 7.20).
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