PHOENIX — The San Diego Padres flipped the script on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, avoiding the sweep with a 7-4 win.
A day after Didi Gregorius beat the Padres with a clutch three-run homer, the Padres’ Yasmani Grandal returned the favor with a three-run bomb to right field in the fifth inning off of Chase Anderson. That proved to be the difference.
“Five of their seven runs came on home runs and walks,” said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson after the game. “Just didn’t make good pitches and they hit them out of the park.”
Anderson was trying to forget all about his last outing against the Washington Nationals, only lasting two innings and giving up six runs but Sunday’s game only magnified that.
“I kind of just lost feel in the fifth inning and I really couldn’t tell you why,” said Anderson. “I felt good going into the game, my command was back with my fastball in the third and fourth innings, so there’s no rhyme or reason just got to work on it and keep getting better.”
Anderson got off to a shaky start, giving up two runs in the first inning but would settle down for the next three innings. Then in the fifth inning, Anderson got himself into trouble with three walks, including one to Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy. Anderson had Kennedy on the ropes with a 0-2 count but would follow it up with four straight balls. At one point, Anderson tossed nine straight balls in the inning. Kennedy’s walk ended up costing the D-backs, as Grandal’s homer came on the second pitch he saw from Anderson.
“I think he was just sitting on a fastball, because it was a 1-0 count. I was trying to throw up and in and he’s a good hitter, quick hands and he got the best of it,” said Anderson after the game, his right arm bandaged in ice.
The D-backs were stymied by Kennedy in the first four innings as only one base runner was able to reach third base. The Padres ace held the D-backs scoreless until the fifth inning, when they were able to load the bases with two outs. Miguel Montero slapped a single up the middle, bringing in a couple of runs to get his team on the board.
In the following frame, an RBI double courtesy of Ender Inciarte ended Kennedy’s day.
The Padres padded their lead in the eighth inning thanks to Will Venable coming through in a pinch. Venable raked out a pinch-hit two-run homer off D-backs reliever Matt Stites, giving the Padres a four-run lead. D-backs second baseman Cliff Pennington would answer with a pinch-hit solo home run of his own in the home half of the inning, closing the gap to three runs.
But there would be no late-game heroics this time around, as Padres closer Joaquin Benoit retired the D-backs in order to end the game.
Montero owns Kenndey.
Montero got the D-backs on the board in the 5th inning with a two-run single. The D-backs’ catcher is now 6-for-8 with a homer against Kennedy lifetime.
Inciarte continues to sizzle at the plate. With his RBI double on Sunday, the center fielder has now hit safely in 32 of his last 36 starts.
Alfredo Marte made the most of his at-bat in the seventh inning against Padres reliever Dale Thayer. Marte battled off three straight foul balls to finally score his first hit of the day after a nine-pitch battle.
Pennington’s only at-bat on Sunday turned out to be a souvenir. Pennington hit his second homer of the season while pinch-hitting for Stites.
Anderson surrendered three walks in the fifth inning and that was the beginning of the end for him. The first walk came against Padres pitcher Kennedy. Anderson had a 0-2 count on Kennedy and then tossed him four straight balls. Then with two outs, Anderson walked his third batter of the inning and Grandal followed that up with a three-run homer that everyone knew was gone as soon as it left his bat.
D-backs reliever Matt Stites ended any steam they were gaining after giving up a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Will Venable. It was Venable’s first homer this month.
STAT OF THE GAME:
10: The D-backs had plenty of chances to win the game but left 10 runners on base and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
HE SAID IT:
“You never want to walk the pitcher; they’re almost a free out every time they get up there. It was kind of frustrating at the time, but you got to dial back in there and I didn’t do that.” -Anderson on giving up a critical walk to Kennedy
• After being absent for the first two games of the series, Aaron Hill returned to the starting lineup and singled to right field in his first at-bat finishing. Hill finished 2-for-5 with two singles. Before Sunday’s game, Hill was only batting .159 with three extra-base hits in his previous 19 games.
• Anderson had been very solid at home winning two of his last four starts and giving up less than two runs in each of those four games. But on Sunday, Anderson was roughed up for five runs, on six hits and four walks in just five innings.
• Hit parade: The D-backs racked up 28 hits in the series against the Padres.
• The D-backs failed to complete a sweep for the fourth time this season. The D-backs have only swept two teams all season, the Rockies and the Cubs.
The D-backs get a day off and then continue their eight-game home stand against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday in a two-game series.
Trevor Cahill will take the mound, hoping to win his third decision in his last four starts. Cahill has only allowed seven earned runs in his last 27 innings pitched.
The Dodgers will counter with newly-acquired Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez lost his last outing against the Padres giving up four runs on eight hits in just five innings.
The D-backs have beaten the Dodgers in three of the last five meetings after dropping seven of the first eight.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM along with pregame coverage, which begins half an hour earlier.