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Alek Thomas hits 3-run homer, Merrill Kelly superb on mound, D-backs beat Rockies 7-3

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PHOENIX (AP) — Alek Thomas hit a three-run homer, Merrill Kelly threw 6 2/3 quality innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3 on Friday night.

Thomas had his big moment in the sixth, connecting on a slider up in the zone from Jake Bird, launching it deep into the right-field seats for a 7-1 lead. The Diamondbacks had 14 hits on Friday, one night after having 18 hits in their season-opening win.

“It’s definitely contagious,” Thomas said. “You definitely want to be a part of it. All of these guys, having good at-bats, putting good swings on balls, it’s been pretty fun these past few days.”

Joc Pederson — playing his first game with the D-backs after signing a $9.5 million, one-year deal this offseason — had four hits, including a double. Ketel Marte added three hits, a walk and a stolen base.

Pederson had the first four-hit debut in franchise history. Marte is the first to have back-to-back, three-hit games to start the season.

Kelly (1-0) cruised for most the night, giving up one run on three hits while striking out eight. The right-hander has thrown at least five innings in 30 straight regular-season outings, which ranks second among current MLB pitchers, behind Mitch Keller’s 32-game streak.

“It was fun to be out there,” Kelly said. “Fun to get the first one under your belt. Felt good. Glad we’re able to get off to the start we have so far this year.”

Kelly’s performance was reminiscent of the last time he was on the mound in Game 2 of the World Series. He threw seven brilliant innings in that game against the Texas Rangers, giving up one run and striking nine, leading the D-backs to their only win in the Fall Classic.

The Diamondbacks got their scoring started with back-to-back solo homers in the first from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Christian Walker. It was Gurriel’s second homer of the season — he also went deep for a two-run homer in the D-backs’ 16-1 win in the opener.

Colorado’s Elías Díaz hit a solo homer in the second to cut the D-backs’ lead to 2-1. Charlie Blackmon had an RBI triple in the eighth and later scored on a wild pitch.

Cal Quantrill (0-1) gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk over five innings. Quantrill pitched the past 3 1/2 years for the Cleveland Guardians, but was traded to the Rockies during the offseason.

“He battled, he kept us in there,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He just got outpitched by their guy. (Kelly) pitched really good.”

The Diamondbacks were presented their National League championship rings during a pregame ceremony. It has 41 diamonds around the logo, signifying manager Torey Lovullo and team’s 40-man roster, and also is personalized with each player’s name.

UP NEXT

The Diamondbacks will send left-hander Tommy Henry to the mound on Saturday night while the Rockies counter with lefty Austin Gomber.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/mlb

By DAVID BRANDT
AP Baseball Writer

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