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SD@ARI: Delgado blanks Padres with three-hit shutout

PHOENIX -- Less than two weeks ago, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he might move Randall Delgado to the bullpen when either Brandon McCarthy or Trevor Cahill came back from the disabled list.

Well, with McCarthy's return on the horizon, the skipper might rethink that plan after what Delgado did against the Padres on Friday night at Chase Field.

Delgado tossed the first complete game of his young career, a three-hit shutout with one walk, as the D-backs cruised to a 10-0 victory, their third in the last four games.

"He was in total command tonight," Gibson said. "He's been really good and he's kind of been building up to this; he's just got some good stuff."

So does that mean Delgado will keep his job in the rotation?

"I don't think we're going to take him out the next turn," said Gibson, smiling. "A lot can happen between now and then but he's thrown the ball great. I would like to think we're going to put our best guys out there."

Delgado has certainly fit that bill of late. Combined with his last start, in which he held the Giants scoreless over 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander has now worked 14 2/3 consecutive shutout frames. Moreover, he has yet to surrender more than three earned runs in an outing in eight starts this season.

"He's always had great stuff, now he's just being more aggressive," D-backs catcher Wil Nieves said. "He needed to trust his stuff and that's what you're seeing him doing more and more with each start. Today you saw what he can do."

Although his curveball induced a few swings and misses, Delgado managed to accomplish it all only using two pitches the vast majority of the game.

"He was basically fastball, changeup; he didn't use the breaking ball much," Nieves said. "The biggest thing was throwing strikes and attacking the strike zone."

The only time the Padres threatened to score came in the seventh, when Will Venable roped a line drive deep to right, only to see Gerardo Parra leap above the fence and rob a potential home run.

"I just ran at the wall and tried to make a catch," Parra said. "Delgado was throwing a great game and I wanted him to keep it going. I don't know how I caught it, but I'm happy with the result."

After drying off from a postgame water-cooler bath from his teammates, Delgado returned to his locker in the clubhouse to see his phone light up nonstop with congratulatory messages from friends and family. Although the Panama native's English isn't quite there yet, no language barrier could hide his excitement.

"Everybody is happy," Delgado said. "It's been a process for me, a slow one but you just try to learn from your mistakes and put it in play the next time."

Pacing Delgado's gem, the D-backs' offense made sure its pitcher had plenty of support, pounding out 17 hits and batting 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

"It's been a while," Gibson said. "We haven't had many games like this but it's certainly good."

The club put up crooked numbers in four innings, while seven players tallied multiple hits, including Delgado for the first time in his career.

Martin Prado continued his recent hot streak by going 3-for-4 to raise his average up to .266, the highest it has been since April 16. Cliff Pennington also collected three hits, while Cody Ross drove in a pair, including one on his sixth home run of the year.

Aaron Hill, who left the game early with hamstring tightness, smacked RBI doubles in both of his at-bats off Padres starter Eric Stults, who allowed seven runs (five earned) after giving up just one run in a complete game effort the last time he saw the D-backs back on June 14.

"He's had our number a few times, fortunately we got some balls up tonight that we were able to do some damage against," Hill said. "Like I said, he's been good against us, so to get to him like that really helped us out."

Taking into consideration Delgado's pitching performance, along with a couple stellar defensive plays and the offensive explosion, a few D-backs players described Friday's victory as the most complete team win of the season, something the club will need to duplicate down the stretch as it sits a 1/2 game out of first place in the National League West.

"This is what we've been waiting for all year," Nieves said. "We haven't been able to do it much, but we got all three today. Hopefully this is the start of a good thing. We're just hoping this keeps going because you've seen what we can do when we play together."

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