Padres Ride Late Runs to Down Diamondbacks

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Padres 5, Diamondbacks 2

PHOENIX, Apr. 9 — The San Diego Padres scored two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5–2, Saturday night. Third baseman Manny Machado went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored to lead the Padres to victory.

Both starters — Zach Davies for the Diamondbacks and Joe Musgrove for the Padres — pitched well, each allowing only two runs, all earned. Davies left while facing a 2–1 deficit, while Musgrove left after the score had been tied at two.

Diamondbacks Take Early Lead, Padres Take It Over

The Diamondbacks got on the board first. For the first time all season, they got a hit before the seventh inning, and furthermore, got a hit off a starting pitcher. It was a Ketel Marte single with one out in the bottom of the first. When left fielder David Peralta ripped a double, it brought Marte across for a 1–0 lead.

The Padres took a 2–1 lead against Davies in the third, but it initially did not look like they’d have the chance. A one-out walk put center fielder Trent Grisham on first for Matt Beaty. He ripped a low liner toward first baseman Christian Walker, who initially looked like he made a lunging shoestring catch. As he came up to tag Grisham for what would have been a double play, the ball came out, nullifying the catch. Walker threw to second to retire Grisham on the force. Machado made the Diamondbacks pay with a double to the left-field corner. He scored on a follow-up single by second baseman Jake Cronenworth.

Peralta Ties Game

David Peralta tied the game at two with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. The game remained tied at the end of seven thanks to scoreless innings by Diamondbacks reliever Noe Ramirez and Padres reliever Steven Wilson.

Entering the game, the only two Diamondbacks relievers who had yet to pitch were setup man Ian Kennedy and closer Mark Melancon — two of their biggest off-season acquisitions. Kennedy looked sharp in spring training, but he struggled in this outing. Manager Torey Lovullo said after the game that Kennedy appeared to be unable to get a feel for his breaking ball, given that he spiked many of them. Consequently, he had to rely solely on his fastball, becoming one-dimensional in the process.

Padres Retake Lead, Hold On

The Padres took advantage of Kennedy’s struggles. Machado led off with a single up the middle. Cronenworth followed with a deep drive to center that seemed certain to give the Padres the lead. However, Daulton Varsho ran it down, stretching well over his head to make the catch. As designated hitter Luke Voit batted, Machado took advantage of Kennedy not keeping an eye on him. He stole second without a throw and later took third on a wild pitch. Voit ultimately walked, putting runners on the corners. First baseman and noted Diamondback killer Eric Hosmer ripped a sharp grounder toward Marte at second. A clean pickup would have ended the threat with a double play, but the ball tipped off Marte’s glove into shallow center. The RBI single gave the Padres a 3–2 lead and advanced Voit to third. Catcher Austin Nola followed with a sacrifice fly to left, making it 4–2 Padres after eight and a half.

The Padres tacked on a run in the ninth off Melancon. Rookie C.J. Abrams lined a single to left and later advanced to second on a passed ball by rookie catcher Jose Herrera. Abrams advanced to third on a grounder to second by Grisham. With one now out, the infield played in for a play at the plate. Jose Azocar hit a hard grounder toward Marte at second. For the second time in the game, Marte could not handle the grounder. The single to center brought in Abrams and finalized the score. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in as many nights.

Postgame Reflections

Lovullo felt that “it was a really good game until we didn’t execute at the level we have been executing over the last couple of innings. Whether it was landing pitches or making plays, doing those little things that we’ve been doing so well for the past couple of days, it showed up. It cost us a couple of moments. We talk about winning the inch here, and it slipped away from us.”

There were positives that he saw. “I was really pleased for the first six, seven innings. Once again, it was a grinding moment for this team. We fought hard to get back in the game at 2–2. I wanted to get (the back end of the bullpen) some work. They haven’t been in a game in a while, and they weren’t able to get the job done.”

Looking Ahead

Steven Wilson earned the relief win in his major league debut, while Kennedy took the loss. The Padres (2–1) and Diamondbacks (1–2) will close their four-game series Sunday afternoon. Padres lefty Blake Snell will face Diamondbacks southpaw Caleb Smith. First pitch will be at 1:10 pm Arizona time.

Main Photo:

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Players Mentioned:

Manny Machado, Zach Davies, Joe Musgrove, Ketel Marte, David Peralta, Trent Grisham, Matt Beaty, Christian Walker, Jake Cronenworth, Daulton Varsho, Luke Voit, Noe Ramirez, Steven Wilson, Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, Torey Lovullo, Austin Nola, Eric Hosmer, C.J. Abrams, Jose Herrera, Jose Azocar, Taylor Rogers, Blake Snell, Caleb Smith