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Diamondbacks lose 16-inning marathon to the San Diego Padres

Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock (11) is to be held back by Steven Souza Jr. after getting tossed out of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX – After scoring 20 runs on Saturday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t have enough left in the tank to last a 16-inning test of endurance with the San Diego Padres on Sunday, dropping the final game of the series by a score of 4-3.

In the 400th start of his career, ace Zack Greinke continued to prove that he can do it all on the diamond.

The four-time All-Star went 1-for-2 at the plate while also pilfering his third stolen base of the season. No D-backs pitcher has ever stolen more than one base in a season.

Greinke is the third pitcher ever since 1974 with three stolen bases in a season. Even more impressive, he has never been caught stealing. He is 8-for-8 in his career.

On the mound, Greinke wasn’t as effective. He was having problems locating his fastball, which lead to a high pitch count.

He gave up six hits and two earned runs in 4.1 innings of work while striking out five and walking three in a no decision.

He threw 94 pitches by the midpoint of the fifth inning, which is why manager Torey Lovullo pulled him so early.

“Zack was a little bit wobbly there, and I just felt it was the right matchup for Andrew,” said Lovullo.

Offensively, the D-backs struggled but were able to put up some runs early in the game.

A.J. Pollock was having himself a nice afternoon before getting tossed by home plate umpire Jansen Visconti in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Pollock was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and two RBI before exiting the game.

After having a few words when he was called out on strikes, Pollock seemingly conceded and headed back to the dugout when Visconti suddenly threw him out of the game.

“Both stories were matching, so once you get that you feel satisfied,” said Lovullo on Pollock being ejected. “You know the line that you can kinda get to and not cross with certain guys, and he went a little bit too far with the comment.”

The D-backs needed some late innings heroics on Heroes Weekend from someone other than Pollock after the Padres tied the game in the sixth inning, but they never got it.

The two teams remained deadlocked for ten more innings before the Padres eventually went ahead in the top of the 16th by way of a Wil Myers solo home run off of catcher Jeff Mathis — who was in the game as a relief pitcher after catching for 15 innings.

Despite being the losing pitcher on the day, Mathis won the respect of many with what he was able to do in this game. This was the first time he pitched in a game since 2012. Myers said after the game that Mathis is the best non-pitcher he’s ever faced.

“We ask a lot of Jeff,” said Lovullo. “I know he caught the first 15 innings and has to throw the final one, and he felt like he could go back out there for another inning if we tied the game. It doesn’t surprise me. He’s as tough as nails.”

The D-backs split the series with the Padres, and finished 3-7 on this homestand before heading out on the road for six games.

THE GOOD

The Man of Steal! Greinke stole his third base of the season, which is a franchise record by a pitcher in a season. His eight career stolen bases ties him with Orel Hershiser for sixth most all-time in career steals by a pitcher in the live ball era.

“Slick” Nick continues to make impressive defensive plays at shortstop this season. He absolutely robbed Wil Myers of a base hit in the seventh inning with a diving grab and throw to first that helped keep things close. He did it again to rob Carlos Asuje in the bottom of the eighth.

D-backs pitchers combined to strike out 20 batters, which is one shy of the club record.

THE BAD

Greinke was pulled from the game after 4.1 innings, which is similar to the outing Robbie Ray had on Saturday. Considering Arizona’s bullpen is already one of most utilized in the NL, it doesn’t put the team in a good position to have back-to-back outings like this by their starters prior to a road trip.

Pollock’s ejection from the game took the wind out of the team’s sails. He was arguably one of the most productive members of the offense early on, and his exit changed the complexion of the game.

Ahmed, Souza, and Lamb all went 0-for-7.

STAT OF THE GAME

400 – Greinke joined Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, and Justin Verlander as the only active pitchers with 400 or more career starts.

HE SAID IT

“I know it probably looked like a slider, but I didn’t throw one slider today,” Jeff Mathis said of his pitching performance.

NOTED

– Outfielder David Peralta did not play in this one despite having a five-hit night on Saturday.

– Saturday was the first time in nearly ten years where three MLB teams scored 15 or more runs in the same day. The D-backs, Washington Nationals, and Boston Red Sox were all part of the fun.

– D-backs minor league pitcher from Double-A Jackson Yoan Lopez has been named to the MLB All-Star Futures Game on July 15 in Washington, D.C. at Nationals Park.

– 24,869 were in attendance at Chase Field. Game time temperatures were 105 degrees outside and 79 degrees inside.

UP NEXT

The D-backs head out on the road for a six-game trip before the All-Star break, with the first stop being against NL West rival Colorado Rockies. After a much needed day off on Monday, All-Star Patrick Corbin will face Tyler Anderson for the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN 620 AM.

Corbin is 6-3 this season with a 3.05 ERA. However, he has turned it on in his last three starts, posting a 0.95 ERA with 23 strikeouts and three walks since June 22.

The D-backs are 5-1 against the Rockies this season and have won eight consecutive games at Coors Field dating back to June 21, 2017.