PHOENIX (AP) -- Josh Collmenter was locked in, throwing strikes,
watching his teammates make spectacular plays and turn double plays.
As the game wore on, he started to notice that the same hitters kept coming up every three innings.
Not quite perfect, but not that far off.
Turning in the most dominant start of his career, Collmenter joined
Randy Johnson as the only Arizona pitchers to face the minimum in a
nine-inning game, tossing a three-hitter in the Diamondbacks' 4-0 win
over the light-hitting Cincinnati Reds Thursday night.
"In the eighth I looked up just to see and at that point you're kind
of cognizant of what you have to do," Collmenter said. "You get those
guys, then you set yourself up for seven, eight and the pinch hitter."
Collmenter got those final three hitters and plenty of help from his teammates.
Aaron Hill, who went 1 for 10 in a three-game series against San
Diego, had three hits, including a solo homer in the sixth inning off
Tony Cingrani (2-5).
A.J. Pollock had a double, a triple and scored two runs from the leadoff spot, and Martin Prado added a late run-scoring single.
The defense was stellar, making a handful of spectacular players and erasing the runners who did reach base.
Collmenter (4-2) was sharp from the first pitch, breezing through his
first career complete game by mixing speeds and hitting both sides of
He didn't quite match Johnson, who had a perfect game in 2004 against
Atlanta, but faced the same number of hitters. Collmenter also becomes
the 13th player since 1914 to allow three or more hits and face the
minimum 27 batters in a nine-inning game.
"He was just kind of in the zone, throwing his pitches right where he
wanted them," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, whose team has won five
The Reds have had trouble converting with runners in scoring position
this season. They had one against the Diamondbacks, Brayan Pena in the
third inning, and he was thrown out at third after tagging up on a
flyball to center.
Cincinnati has lost five of six after being shut out for the sixth time this season.
"We didn't barrel many balls," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "In
part credit to him and in part a testament to the fact that we haven't
been swinging the bats very well."
Collmenter has been on a roll over the past month, going 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in six starts.
The over-the-top-throwing right-hander kept it going against the Reds, with help from his defense.
The Diamondbacks turned three double plays behind him, including a
catch-and-throw by Pollock in center to get Pena at third in the second
Hill also had a diving stop up the middle to rob Todd Frazier of a
hit in the seventh inning and made a tough stop on a grounder by Pena in
Collmenter struck out five and walked none to win his third straight start and fourth straight decision.
"He made quality strikes and got bad contact," Diamondbacks catcher
Tuffy Gosewisch said. "They hit a few balls hard and we played great
defense and turned a double play here and there."
The Reds ended a four-game losing streak on Wednesday, when Homer
Bailey outpitched two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw in a
3-2 victory over the Dodgers.
Cingrani wasn't quite as good, though managed to limit the damage.
The left-hander had struggled a bit since coming off the disabled
list (shoulder), allowing four runs in each of his past two starts.
Arizona scored a run off Cingrani in the first inning, when Pollock
led off with a double, stole third and scored when catcher Devin
Mesoraco's throw bounced into left field for an error.
Hill hit a solo homer to left in the fourth inning, his fifth of the
season, and chased Cingrani with a run-scoring single up the middle in
Cingrani allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings.
"I was just trying to get my rhythm going and build off each outing
and try to find my groove," Cingrani said. "I will hit it sooner or
Collmenter certainly has.
NOTES: Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, who leads the majors with 48
games caught, was given the night off. ... The error by Mesoraco in the
first inning was the 24th by the Reds, still fewest in the majors. ...
Arizona RHP Bronson Arroyo, Friday's starter against the Reds, played
the previous eight seasons in Cincinnati. He is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA his
last six starts. RHP Mike Leake will start for Cincinnati after allowing
two runs in six innings of a 2-0 loss to St. Louis his last start.