PHOENIX — There were two ways to look at Robbie Ray’s outing Wednesday in the Diamondbacks’ 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Ray’s one bad pitch led to a three-run, fifth-inning home run by Matt Kemp that gave San Diego a 4-2 lead. The starter’s 101 prior pitches didn’t help either.
Arizona manager Chip Hale said inefficiency (17.7 pitcher per inning in 19 starts) has hurt Ray, who is 4-12 on the season, in part because of a less-than-ideal 2.95 run support average per start.
“You end up as infielders and outfielders standing out there for pitch after pitch after pitch, and people wonder why we don’t score a whole lot of runs when he pitches,” Hale said. “The tempo of the game is very important.”
Ray went 4.2 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
Despite crossing the 100-pitch point early, Ray got the chance to close out the fifth inning with a 2-1 D-backs lead. Hale didn’t think about pulling his starter and after the game called it a lesson for a pitcher who next season will surely have a number of challengers wanting to take away his starting spot.
“I left him in because it was his game to win, and at some point in their careers they’re going to have to take the bull by the horn in the fifth inning and get out of that inning and get a win,” Hale said.
– D-backs outfielder David Peralta led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, but the savviness of Arizona’s hitting came a few batters later. With two outs, Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury each drew four-pitch walks from San Diego starter Andrew Cashner to load the bases before Chris Owings hit a two-run single that put Arizona ahead 2-1.
– Does a pool shot by Salty make the pool … briny? Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a Cashner slider into the Chase Field pool in the sixth inning, cutting the Padres’ lead to 4-3. The D-backs catcher now has four home runs in his last 15 at-bats — and in each of his last four starts.
“I feel good,” Saltalamacchia said. “I’m getting pitches to hit. My second at-bat, he threw three great pitches, nothing you can do about that. My next at-bat he hung a slider.”
– The bullpen followed Ray’s outing with 4.1 innings of solid pitching by Randall Delgado, David Hernandez and Josh Collmenter, who gave up no hits or runs. Delgado also struck out three.
– Through the first four innings, former ASU star Brett Wallace beat the Diamondbacks’ shifts twice, and the second one led to the first run of the game. Wallace doubled down the right foul line in the top of the fourth inning to avoid the extra D-back placed in right field altogether and later scored on an RBI by Cory Spangenberg.
– The Padres mostly struggled to get clean hits off of Ray, the D-backs lefty, fouling a good portion of the balls off. Ray’s pitch count hit 82 by the end of his fourth inning, and his 20th of the fifth, Kemp’s homer meant trouble.
– Arizona went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Most notably, the team stranded Paul Goldschmidt after he hit a double with one out in the eighth inning.
HE SAID IT
“I think it’s just I didn’t have my secondary stuff there, was laying off of it and wasn’t able to put guys away with it. My breaking ball, running it in on guys, they were not able to swing on it.” – Robbie Ray on why the Padres fouled off so many pitches.
STAT OF THE GAME
4 – D-backs catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has homered in four straight starts.
– Suns rookie Devin Booker threw out a fine first pitch but heading into the seventh inning failed to catch three pop-flies that D-backs mascot Baxter sent his way via a JUGS machine.
– Padres closer Craig Kimbrel made his first plate appearance in 349 major league games. Josh Collmenter struck him out to end the top of the ninth inning.
– A.J. Pollock went 3-for-4 on the evening with two singles and a double.
-The Diamondbacks will have all of Thursday to study the film of Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco starting pitcher who Friday will throw the first pitch of Arizona’s three-game series in the Bay Area.
-Arizona had best make use of the day off heading into a 10-game California road trip that stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and then San Diego. Bumgarner comes off a near-perfect game, where he went a full nine innings and allowed a single hit in the Giants’ 8-0 win against the Padres.
-Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa gets the tall task of keeping Arizona in the game with Bumgarner, but is coming off a rough stretch despite leading the D-backs with 12 wins in 29 starts this season. Over the last four games, De La Rosa has allowed 17 runs in 18 innings of work while allowing six home runs over that span.
-First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and Arizona Sports 98.7‘s pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m.