Machado, Snell Carry Padres Past Diamondbacks

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Padres 3, Diamondbacks 0

PHOENIX, Aug. 31 — Blake Snell had a no-hitter through seven before running out of gas, and Manny Machado belted a no-doubt two-run home run as the San Diego Padres topped the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3–0, in NL West action Tuesday night.

The two starting pitchers — Zac Gallen for the Diamondbacks and the left-handed Snell for the Padres — traded zeros through the first four innings. Snell cruised along without giving up a hit, as walks to shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Christian Walker created the only baserunners. Gallen had a tough fourth inning, with three walks loading the bases, but escaped without allowing a run.

Padres Take the Lead over the Diamondbacks

In the fifth, a two-out single to left against the shift by All-Star shortstop Jake Cronenworth set the table for Machado, the third baseman. Machado — who gets booed heartily by Diamondbacks fans every time he steps into the box — belted a 1-2 slider 420 feet into the left-field bleachers. The 111.3-mph missile gave the Padres a 2–0 lead and quieted the boobirds, at least temporarily.

It became a 3–0 game in the sixth. With second baseman Adam Frazier on first, left fielder Jurickson Profar belted a long drive near the right-field corner. Jake McCarthy grabbed it on one hop, keeping it from reaching the wall. He fired the ball to the relay man, second baseman Andrew Young, who was in line with a throw to second. Frazier rounded third. Young threw home when he saw Frazier, but Frazier narrowly slid in before Kelly’s tag. On the throw, Profar tried to reach second, but Kelly’s strong throw retired Profar in a rundown.

Jayce Tingler Makes a Tough Decision

Meanwhile, Snell cruised through the end of the seventh with the no-hitter still intact. However, he threw 123 pitches in his last start and had thrown 107 pitches in this game. Much to the fury of the Padres fans in attendance, Pierce Johnson took over in the eighth. When pinch-hitter David Peralta singled with one out, the Padres fans let Padres manager Jayce Tingler have it. That was the only hit of the inning, however, as McCarthy grounded into a 5-4 force play before pinch-hitter Daulton Varsho grounded into the overshift for the third out.

Padres closer Mark Melancon, who pitched collegiately at the University of Arizona, took the hill in the ninth. Despite giving up two hits, he struck out the side to earn his 36th save —on ASU Night, no less, thrown by the Diamondbacks to honor his alma mater’s rival, Arizona State.

Postgame Reflections

Several factors made Snell so tough for the Diamondbacks. Manager Torey Lovullo said, “It was an aggressive fastball at the bottom and the top of the zone. (He also had) a curveball over a slider until probably the sixth inning. Then he started to mix in the slider. He had a three-pitch mix going and had a good day.”

Ahmed added, “He mixed it up on us more this time than he has in the past. He definitely threw a lot more curveballs. The slider was harder than we’ve seen in the past — it was up to 88, 89 (mph). The offspeed is…elite, and he was able to throw that for strikes and throw that for what looked like strikes but finished as balls. When you have 96-98 with the high release and angle and you throw your off-speed pitches extremely well, like he did tonight, it was a tough night for us.”

Looking Ahead

Snell (7–5) earned the win, while Gallen (2–8) took the loss. The Padres (71–62) and Diamondbacks (44–90) wrap up their three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Yu Darvish (7–8, 3.80 ERA) will take the hill for the Padres against Diamondbacks right-hander Luke Weaver (2–3, 4.50 ERA), who will make his first appearance since May 16. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 pm Arizona time.

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Players/managers mentioned:

Blake Snell, Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, Zac Gallen, Nick Ahmed, Christian Walker, Adam Frazier, Jurickson Profar, Jake McCarthy, Andrew Young, Jayce Tingler, Pierce Johnson, David Peralta, Daulton Varsho, Mark Melancon, Torey Lovullo, Yu Darvish, Luke Weaver