Nick Ahmed tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning, and right-hander Merrill Kelly pitched seven scoreless innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks broke a six-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday in Phoenix. Ahmed's triple was the D-backs' only hit of the game. Kelly gave up only three hits, all singles, and struck out five to out-duel Cincinnati right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who retired 21 of the 22 batters he faced in seven innings.
Arizona (76-73) remained on the fringes of the NL wild-card race, 4 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card spot with 13 games remaining and four teams to pass. Ahmed hit a line drive into the left-field corner on the first pitch from DeSclafani in the third inning. He scored when Jarrod Dyson hit the second pitch of the inning to deep center field for a sacrifice fly, accounting for the game's only run.
DeSclafani (9-9) retired the first six and the final 15 batters, with Ahmed's triple the only damage, and took the hard-luck loss. He struck out five and used only 78 pitches. He had 16 first-pitch strikes and reached a three-ball count on only three hitters. Kevin Ginkel pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Archie Bradley records his 14th save with a 1-2-3 ninth. It was the Diamondbacks' ninth shutout of the season
Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back singles off Kelly (11-14) with one out in the first inning, but the Reds had only two other baserunners through the first six innings, both walks by Freddy Galvis. Aristides Aquino had the Reds' other hit, a single in the seventh. Galvis left the game in the seventh inning with an apparent knee injury after swinging and missing a 2-1 pitch from Kelly. Pinch hitter Alex Blandino entered a took a called third strike, with the strikeout going to Galvis.
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