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Grit Index: Hernandez’s mistake leads to Padres’ sweep of D-backs

David Hernandez missed his spot, but still managed to get the 3-2 pitch over for what appeared to be strike three.

Only problem, home plate umpire Dale Scott didn’t see things the same way. The pitch was called a ball to San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley, and after he walked to put runners on first and second, Hernandez made another mistake pitch that proved even more costly.

With a 1-2 count on Kyle Blanks, Hernandez left a fastball over the heart of plate, and the 6-foot-6 right fielder didn’t miss it. Blanks belted the pitch over the left field wall for a go-ahead, three-run shot in the eighth inning, and the Padres hung on for a 4-1 victory and a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the loss, Arizona moved to 1-5 this season at Petco Park and 2-6 in its last eight games.

The Good:

Before inciting the brawl that led to eight different suspensions on Tuesday night, Ian Kennedy was throwing what D-backs GM Kevin Towers later referred to as “his best game of the year.”

Over six-plus innings, Kennedy, who was allowed to pitch after appealing his 10-game ban, was even better Sunday afternoon. Aside from allowing a home run to Will Venable in the third inning, the D-backs’ right-hander was on his A game. Kennedy allowed just four hits over his six innings of work, while striking out six — several of which came on high fastballs up in the zone.

Brad Ziegler also deserves some credit for bailing out Kennedy in the seventh. With two runners on and no one out, Ziegler threw a flawless inning of relief to get out of the jam.

The Bad:

Clayton Richard came into the contest with an 8.06 ERA, but you wouldn’t have known it Sunday. The D-backs’ offense was once again a non-factor, as the Padres’ left-hander gave up just one run over eight innings.

In its last five losses, Arizona has scored a combined 11 runs.


• Gerardo Parra was thrown out trying to steal for the eighth time this season. The D-backs’ outfielder is just 5-of-13 this season when trying to swipe a bag.

• Will Venable’s home run off Kennedy was his ninth of the season. All nine have come off of right-handed pitchers.

• With Sunday’s loss, Arizona is 4-12 all-time on Father’s Day.

• In 2013, Brad Ziegler has allowed just four of 32 inherited runners to score.

• Paul Goldschmidt went hitless in the weekend series against the Padres. It marks the first time all year he’s gone three straight games without a base hit.

Up Next:

The D-backs return to Chase Field for a six-game homestand, beginning Monday against the Miami Marlins. Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.28 ERA) gets the nod for the D-backs. He’ll be opposed by Miami’s young pitching prospect Jacob Turner (1-0, 1.80). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. Arizona time. The game can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.