PHOENIX -- The Reds lineup had already greased the wheels for pitcher Anthony DeSclafani with a bunch of run support. Conditions could not have been easier or smoother for him to work the first shutout of his career.
It came in the form of a four-hitter and 13-0 victory for the Reds over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field. DeSclafani gave up four singles, walked his first batter of the game in Jean Segura, who was erased by a double play, and struck out nine. It may have looked easy, but DeSclafani refused the comfort of feeling that way.
"I try to keep the same game plan, whether it's 9-0 or 0-0," DeSclafani said. "I tried staying focused the whole game as if it was 0-0. I worked pitch to pitch and got outs throughout the game. It just totaled up to be a [shutout]. I'm definitely happy."
The Reds did give DeSclafani a 9-0 lead with a four-run first inning and a five-run second inning, while hitting five home runs in the game overall.
"Anything you can scratch for the guy that's throwing like that. Goodness gracious, he's throwing the heck out of it," said right fielder Scott Schebler, who hit two homers with five RBIs.
The last Reds pitcher to toss a shutout was Johnny Cueto on July 7, 2015, at the Nationals. DeSclafani had reached eight innings three times, including twice this season.
Aided by two double plays, DeSclafani had one runner reach second base -- Yasmany Tomas in the fifth inning. By the end of the eighth inning, he had 100 pitches and a quiet bullpen. Manager Bryan Price let the pitcher bat for himself in the top of the ninth.
In a sign of how good a night he had pitching and his lineup had hitting, DeSclafani had an 0-for-5 game at the plate. Pitchers are rarely afforded five at-bats in a game.
"Oh my gosh, I wanted to stop hitting because I kept getting out. It will ruin my average," DeSclafani joked.
DeSclafani retired his final seven batters in a row and finished with 108 pitches during his relatively stress-free evening.
"He challenges hitters in the strike zone and he doesn't fall into the muscle-head mentality that when he gets into trouble that he's just going to try to throw the ball by the hitter or try to throw his hardest, nastiest slider," Price said. "He's a pitcher in every sense of the word."
In 15 starts since returning from a strained left oblique in June, after much of the first half was wiped out, DeSclafani is 8-2 with a 2.96 ERA. He has the kind of mentality and stuff that enables him to work deep, and now, go the distance.
"Anthony pitching with a nine-run lead early in the game was big," Price said. "It's not always as it may look. Chip Hale is not going to just let those guys roll over and quit. The D-backs always come after you. Anthony did a really nice job managing a big lead. Sometimes you can lose your focus and he didn't."
DeSclafani was so locked in on finishing the game, he didn't even realize it was over after the final out.
"It's definitely an accomplishment for sure," DeSclafani said. "I think every pitcher wants to throw a complete-game shutout. I am very fortunate to have thrown one."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.