Diamondbacks drop series opener to Padres in San Diego
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hunter Renfroe’s second swing back with the San Diego Padres was a big one.
The rookie hit a three-run home run in his first big league game in a month and Austin Hedges also connected for the Padres, who beat NL wild card leader Arizona 4-2 on Monday night.
Renfroe drove a 1-1 pitch from lefty Patrick Corbin to straightaway center field with two outs in the first, his 21st. He was demoted to Triple-A El Paso on Aug. 18 to work on his hitting. He was recalled earlier Monday.
“It felt good,” Renfroe said. “Obviously it’s good to do it in the first at-bat, but obviously to do it in general to help the team win, and to get the win against Arizona, which is a really good club, is special.”
Renfroe first came up late last season and had four home runs and 14 RBIs in 11 games. But he struggled enough this season that the Padres sent him down.
“It was humbling,” he said. “You go down for a reason. You either grow from it or you fail from it. I wanted to grow from it and become a better player, so I went down there with the mindset that I was going to get better and worked every day.”
“We’re just all excited to have him back,” manager Andy Green said. “That three-run home run kind of changed the game at the very beginning.”
Corbin (14-13) retired the first two batters before allowing Wil Myers’ double that bounced over the fence in left-center. The pitcher then walked Yangervis Solarte before Renfroe connected.
Manager Andy Green said Renfroe, the club’s first-round draft pick in 2013, has a lot to work on, but also has a lot of potential.
“There’s another level he can get to,” Green said. “I hope whatever he can do these next two weeks, he’s encouraged to get to the next level.”
Hedges homered to left-center on a 3-1 pitch with one out in the second, his 18th.
The Diamondbacks closed the gap in the third with RBI singles by David Peralta and J.D. Martinez off Luis Perdomo (8-10).
Arizona had a great chance to add on in the sixth after Perdomo loaded the bases with one out. But Padres manager Andy Green turned to Craig Stammen, who got Chris Herrmann to fly out to right, and Renfroe’s strong throw home held Daniel Descalso at third.
“It’s always there,” Renfroe said of his arm strength. “Whether it’s on line, sometimes it’s a different story, but it’s always there.”
Rey Fuentes, pinch-hitting for Corbin, popped up to first to end the threat.
Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Perdomo allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out two and walked six.
Corbin allowed four runs and four hits in five innings, struck out three and walked three.
“He just couldn’t get into an early rhythm and he gave up the big three-run home run,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “That kind of broke the game open in the first inning. But I thought he did a good job after the solo home run in the second to settle down a little bit. He along with the bullpen did a good job of really limiting some base runners.”
“Offensively we just couldn’t play catch up,” Lovullo said. “I felt like we built some innings. We had some good situations where the right guys were up at the right time and we just didn’t execute.”
The Diamondbacks have lost two straight.
“We’ve got to win baseball games. We’ve got to go out and execute and get the job done,” Lovullo said. “We know that we’re down toward the end of this thing and we see the finish line. But we’ve just got to keep playing our type of baseball and remember what got us to this point. Then take the next steps as they fall. For right now we’ve got to come out, spit this game out and be ready to play a good offensive game tomorrow and see where that lands us.”
Diamondbacks: LF David Peralta left in the bottom of the sixth with tightness in his right quad.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (8-7, 3.00) is scheduled to start Tuesday night. He is 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his last four starts.
Padres: LHP Travis Wood (3-6, 6.80) is 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 career games, including nine starts, at Petco Park.