Pollock's slam powers D-backs over Padres

Pollock's slam powers D-backs over Padres

SAN DIEGO -- A.J. Pollock hit a grand slam and Rubby De La Rosa allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings Friday night as the D-backs defeated the Padres, 6-3, at Petco Park.

Pollock had a run-scoring single in the first inning and then hit his grand slam in the second inning, for his 19th home run of the season. De La Rosa improved to 4-0 against the Padres this season in four starts. He walked three and struck out two.

"The guys did a good job getting on base," Pollock said. "You've got bases loaded, one out you're just trying to find something to get in the outfield and score that one run. I was a little bit out front so I was really trying to stay on the ball, not trying to do too much just trying to get it elevated in the outfield and get the first one in and was fortunate enough that I was able to get them all."

San Diego starting pitcher Casey Kelly, who was making his first Major League start since Sept. 27, 2012, allowed six runs in five innings. But he retired the final 11 batters he faced. Kelly had Tommy John surgery in 2013. This was his second appearance in the big leagues of 2015 after spending nearly the entire season in Double-A.

"Even in the first couple of innings, I felt I made some good pitches," Kelly said. "They're good hitters. But at the same time. I have to minimize damage."

Kelly settles in after pep talk from Shields

Pollock finishing strong: The grand slam was the first of Pollock's career and his five RBIs on the night were a career high. After not having more than 38 RBIs in a season, Pollock has 75 this year. More >

"He's just had a great second half of the year," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Obviously he was an All-Star in the first half and he's probably been our hottest hitter the last month and a half."

Pollock's RBI single

Little big swing: On Thursday night, Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista hit a pinch-hit, walk-off single in a victory over the Giants. One day later, he was at it again. This time, the 5-foot-6 Amarista lined an RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning off reliever Randall Delgado to cut the D-backs' lead to 6-3.

Amarista's RBI single

Got 'em early hung on late: The D-backs scored a pair of runs in the first inning and another four in the second, thanks to Pollock's grand slam. That would be the final hit the D-backs would collect on the night, though, as they got just one more runner on base -- a walk by Jake Lamb in the sixth -- the rest of the way.

"We came out swinging it, real aggressive," Hale said. "We had a good scouting report on Kelly. I thought the guys did a great job. Then after the second inning I think we drew one walk so they made a nice adjustment."

Kemp impact with his glove: Padres right fielder Matt Kemp might be stuck on 99 RBIs, but he still made an impact on Friday's game -- this time with his glove. Kemp made a nice sliding grab of a ball in foul territory after a long run to a ball hit down the first-base line by Phil Gosselin in the seventh inning.

Kemp's terrific sliding grab

"If anyone questions how hard he's going about it, and I don't think they would, that [play] sort of signifies the effort we're seeing," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy of Kemp's catch.

"Our bullpen was incredible tonight. We gave up [no hits] in the last seven innings. That's pretty good, gives you a chance." -- Murphy

De La Rosa became the first D-backs pitcher to win four games against the Padres in a single season since Randy Johnson did so in 2002.

De La Rosa fans Kemp

D-backs: Jeremy Hellickson will get the start Saturday night as he looks to build on a solid performance last time out against the Giants. The right-hander allowed three hits and two runs over five innings in that game. He has struggled in five starts against the Padres this year with an 8.37 ERA.

Padres: Robbie Erlin (0-1, 21.00) is coming off a rough start at Coors Field the last time out, allowing seven runs in three innings in his first big league start of 2015. That said, he has had some success against the D-backs, though it was in 2013. He has a 2.08 ERA in two starts against Arizona.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.