Jon Jay works the count, drives in 3 and leads the D-backs to a win

Jul 28, 2018, 9:06 PM | Updated: 9:18 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jon Jay watches his two-run double next to San Diego Padres catcher Austin He...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jon Jay watches his two-run double next to San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Over Jon Jay’s 24 games leading into the Diamondbacks’ Saturday matchup against the San Diego Padres, he was hitting .146.

The outfielder Arizona acquired for his bat only had 13 hits in that span.

But on Saturday, Jay was the catalyst, even when he wasn’t getting on base. He consistently worked the count and drove in three runs in the D-backs’ 9-4 win.

Like the game Friday, Arizona’s runs came in bunches.

Four came in the second inning.

It wasn’t the result of particularly impressive hitting. Padres pitcher Tyson Ross couldn’t find the strike zone, walking the first three batters and then giving up RBI singles to catcher Jeff Mathis, pitcher Patrick Corbin and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Somewhere in the middle, Jay drove the ball down the first base line, but Eric Hosmer made a diving stop and tagged first with his glove. A run scored, but Jay was robbed of what could have been an extra-base, multiple-RBI hit.

Even once Tyson Ross got out of that 38-pitch inning, Arizona worked the count against the six Padres who pitched Saturday. They just couldn’t translate it to damage throughout the game.

In five innings, Ross threw 94 pitches. His replacement, Jose Castillo, needed 23 in 0.2 innings. No Padres pitcher threw fewer than 10, though three pitched fewer than one full inning.

Jay worked a nine-pitch at-bat against Castillo, though he ended up lining out.

The D-backs made the Padres pitchers work, but they couldn’t find tangible results. Through seven innings, Corbin was the only D-back with multiple hits.

They only had one extra-base hit, but even that probably should’ve been a single. Shortstop Ketel Marte hustled out of the box to turn it into a two-bagger.

Then, just like the third inning Friday, and just like the second inning Saturday, Arizona piled on runs at once.

Second baseman Daniel Descalso got a base hit. Pinch-hitter Chris Owings walked.

Jay got a fast ball down the middle and drove it to right, doubling home a pair of runs and giving the D-backs a 6-4 lead. He then scored off a base hit by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Suddenly, the D-backs remembered how to hit the ball hard.

Newly-acquired Eduardo Escobar decided to show Arizona why the team traded for him in the ninth frame, hitting his 38th double of the season, a league-high. Mathis drove him in with another double, and then fellow catcher Alex Avila knocked him home with a double off the wall.

The D-backs’ lack of consistency has been reflected in their record all season. They get hot, they get cold, and sometimes, they score five runs in two innings to make a win appear convincing.

They’ve scored 15 runs over four innings this series. In the other 14 frames, they’ve scored zero.

Arizona will go for a sweep over the Padres on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 p.m.

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Jon Jay works the count, drives in 3 and leads the D-backs to a win