Diamondbacks mount late-game comeback to get 1st win of season
The Arizona Diamondbacks offense has had little life through three games, but it had just enough in the eighth and ninth innings on Sunday to beat the San Diego Padres 4-3.
With the win, the D-backs staved off an 0-3 start to the season against a division foe and is instead 1-2.
Manager Torey Lovullo likened these early inter-division games in a 60-game season to a bout.
“We got hit by a couple haymakers. We got dropped for a couple days in a row, so I was proud that we got back on our feet, stood firmly in the middle of ring,” he said in a Zoom call with media after the game.
After the Padres led most of the game 1-0, the D-backs finally plated two runs in the top of the eighth. San Diego quickly tied it up in the bottom half of the inning.
Arizona managed to continue its offensive production in the ninth that had not been there for the first 25 innings of the season.
Left fielder David Peralta said that the team was more patient in those final couple innings and had worked out some of the funk that comes with the first at-bats of the season.
“You always want to get the first hit, and you want to do the job and sometimes you put pressure a little bit on yourself, but as soon as you get the first hit, you go, ‘OK, there we go,'” he said. “It’s normal, and we just have to control ourselves and control what we can do.”
With one out in the top ninth, Ildemaro Vargas singled and Kevin Cron and Nick Ahmed both walked against Kirby Yates, who only had 30 walks in the last two seasons combined.
That brought up the top of the order and leadoff man Ketel Marte.
Marte hit a fly ball just deep enough for Vargas to tag up and score the go-ahead run, and then Peralta got a base hit up the middle to drive home another.
Just like that, the D-backs took a two-run lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Peralta made another impact play. Tommy Pham drilled a pitch to left with one on and one out, but Peralta made a leaping grab on the run to get the out.
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“That’s why he’s got gold on his mitt. It’s not always about how, it’s about how many, and that’s No. 1 for us,” said Archie Bradley, who was in as closer for the first time this year.
That catch likely ended up saving the game.
The next Padres batter hit an RBI double, but Bradley retired the next batter to get the five-out close and send the D-backs away with their first win of the season.