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Two late HRs lift D-backs to 2-0 victory over Cardinals

Arizona Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed, left, rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off St....
Arizona Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed, left, rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (39) during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Merrill Kelly threw seven shutout innings and Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed each homered in the eighth inning, lifting the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

Marte led off the eight by taking a 1-1 changeup off Miles Mikolas (1-1) into the right field bullpen for his first homer of the season. One out later, Ahmed sent a 1-1 fastball into the left field bullpen for his second homer.

Kelly (2-1) pitched seven scoreless innings, holding the Cardinals to two hits with four strikeouts and one hit batter. He’s allowed four total earned runs in his first five starts.

Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth. Ian Kennedy gave up a leadoff walk before retiring the side in the ninth to pick up his first save and preserve the shutout.

Mikolas pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in his fifth start of 2022.

Before giving up the home runs, Mikolas had a 19-inning scoreless streak. He has allowed two runs or fewer in all five starts.

TAKE A SEAT

Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado served his single-game suspension Saturday on the day the team gave away his bobblehead. He had appealed the two-game suspension for his role in the bench-clearing brawl against the New York Mets on Wednesday and had it reduced to one game.

Arenado is expected to be back in the lineup for the Cardinals on Sunday’s series finale against Arizona. He’s off to a solid start with five home runs, 17 RBI, and a batting average of .375 in 19 games.

Rookie Brendan Donovan started at third base. Donovan made his MLB debut Monday against the Mets.

UNSUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE

St. Louis lost a challenge in the sixth inning. Paul Goldschmidt hit a slow roller to short and first baseman Christian Walker stretched to catch the throw from Ahmed. Umpire Chris Conroy made the call that stood. The play saved a run, as Edmundo Sosa was hit by a pitch, stole second and went to third on a fly out.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

The Cardinals lead the majors with 22 stolen bases in 23 attempts after stealing two Saturday.

Their 95.65% success rate is their best over the first 20 games since caught stealing was made an official stat in 1951.

Harrison Bader swiped second in the second inning, giving him a National League-leading six; Bader had nine stolen bases in 2021.

The lone blemish this season came when Albert Pujols attempted to steal third at Milwaukee on April 14 and was caught by Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: RHP Mark Melancon (undisclosed) is expected to be out until at least May 6. RHP J.B. Wendelken (undisclosed) is expected to be out until at least May 9.

Cardinals: RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip) threw a successful bullpen Saturday morning. VerHagen said it went “great.” A rehab assignment remains a possibility.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zach Davies (1-1) will make his 15th career start at St. Louis. In his last three starts against Cardinals, he is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA. He is 3-5 overall against St. Louis.

Cardinals: RHP Jordan Hicks (1-2) took a Dominic Smith comebacker off his right wrist in the second inning in his last start against the Mets and pitched to three batters in the third before exiting. He will be making his fourth career appearance and first start against the Diamondbacks.

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