Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks maintain their winning ways
PHOENIX — The roll(s) continues.
The Arizona Diamondbacks made it seven series wins to open the season, and Patrick Corbin made it four wins in five starts to open the season.
The D-backs beat the San Diego Padres, 4-2, in the rubber match of the three-game set in front of announced crowd of 31,061 at Chase Field on Sunday.
Nick Ahmed hit a two-run home run and Corbin had a RBI single; all part of a four-run fourth inning.
Archie Bradley closed the door on the Padres, recording a four-out save.
The D-backs became the first National League team to win their first seven series since the 2003 San Francisco Giants, while Corbin has started 4-0 for the second time in his career.
Coming off his first career complete-game shutout, Corbin blanked the Padres for five innings before Christian Villanueva connected on a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth.
Other than that at-bat, Corbin was outstanding. Again.
In his six innings of work, Corbin allowed just two hits, with the homer accounting for the only runs. He walked one and struck out 11, one short of his season- and career-high.
At 15-6, the D-backs matched their best 21-game start in franchise history.
Through three innings, Corbin had recorded four strikeouts, each batter swinging and missing on the slider. He stuck out one in each of the first and second innings and then punched out a pair in the third, when Austin Hedges led off the frame with a base hit to left field. Corbin needed 47 pitches (30 strikes) to complete the three innings.
With one run already in, Ahmed plated a couple more with a one-out, two-run home run in the fourth inning. He drilled a 1-0 curveball from starter Joey Lucchesi into the D-backs bullpen. It was Ahmed’s third homer of the season and second at Chase Field. Lucchesi, whose throwing error scored the first run, had retired seven straight entering the inning.
But wait, there’s more. Still in the fourth inning. Deven Marrero walked, stole second and advanced to third on Jeff Mathis’ groundout. That brought up Corbin, and he wasted no time. Corbin hit a first-pitch curveball up the middle and into center field for a two-out, run-scoring single. It was already his third hit of the season and first RBI.
What could’ve been. A base running mistake may have cost the D-backs a big inning in the first. With one out, Ketel Marte and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back singles. But on Goldschmidt’s base hit, Marte slipped rounding second base and the throw from right field was in time to catch Marte off base for out No. 2. Pollock then walked and Chris Owings flied out to deep center field, which could’ve been a sacrifice fly and 1-0 D-backs lead.
What should’ve been. Corbin struck out each of the first three batters faced in the sixth inning, but on strikeout No.3, the third strike got away from Mathis, allowing Wil Myers to reach first base. It was ruled a wild pitch. Three pitches later and Corbin had allowed his first run(s) in the last 14 innings, when Villanueva drilled an 0-2 fastball — clocked at 91.8 mph — over the fence in right field for a two-run home run, cutting the D-backs lead in half, 4-2.
STAT OF THE GAME
8: Corbin has started the season with eight or more strikeouts in each of his five starts, which is tied for the third-longest streak in team history to start a season with Curt Schilling (2001), trailing Randy Johnson in 1999 with seven and in 2000 with 15.
HE SAID IT
“Good series win, once again,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We fought hard. We played a solid eight-and-a-half innings of baseball and got some timely hitting. The pitching, obviously, led the way for us today and that, once again, fell right on Patrick Corbin. An outstanding effort.”
Corbin threw a first-pitch strike to 12-of-22 batters faced; in addition, he reached a 3-ball count three times.
Goldschmidt has now hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games at a .405 clip (17-for-42) with seven total walks.
Pollock went 1-for-3 with a walk and is now hitting .342 (26-for-76) in his last 21 games against the Padres.
David Peralta had a scheduled day off, meaning Jarrod Dyson got the start in left field, his fourth this season.
With a first-pitch temperature of 90 degrees, the game was played with both the roof and the panels closed.
Prior to the game, Lovullo announced Steven Souza Jr. (right pectoral strain) had begun a throwing program.
A day off. In Philadelphia.
Immediately after the game, the D-backs headed to the City of Brotherly Love, where they’ll open a three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday, April 24. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 with pregame coverage beginning 35 minutes earlier on ESPN 620.
Robbie Ray, who is winless in his last two starts, gets the ball in the opener. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Vince Velasquez.
Ray (2-0) has excelled on the road. He’s 1-0 this season and 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA over his past 17 appearances away from Chase Field, with the D-backs winning 14 of those games.
Meanwhile, Velasquez (1-2) has pitched well for three straight starts, allowing five runs in a combined 18.2 innings with 20 strikeouts, since his season debut at Atlanta, when he was tagged for seven runs, four earned, in 2.2 innings.
The D-backs have won seven straight games in Philadelphia.