You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first one.
The Arizona Diamondbacks won the first one; now 15 more to go.
Rubby De La Rosa pitched seven solid innings, while four different D-backs drove in runs to begin a stretch of 16 straight games against NL West opponents with a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres in front of an announced crowd of 27,394 at Chase Field on Friday.
De La Rosa (6-3) allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts to post his seventh quality start in 14 outings this season.
During one stretch he retired nine straight batters.
De La Rosa, who has won back-to-back starts now for the third time this season, improved to 3-0 against the Padres.
After a run in the first inning, the D-backs plated three in the third on three consecutive two-out run-scoring hits, including back-to-back doubles by Aaron Hill and Welington Castillo. Nick Ahmed capped the scoring with an RBI single.
All four runs were charged to James Shields.
Making his 300th career start, Shields (7-1) came up short for the first time this season. Of the eight hits he surrendered in six innings of work, four were doubles, which actually was an improvement from the last time he faced the D-backs, who roughed up the 10-year veteran to the tune of four home runs on May 8.
Brad Ziegler earned the save, his 10th, in what was his 500th career appearance.
The D-backs won for the sixth time in eight games and once again pulled to within a game of .500 (33-34), a mark that has eluded them since April 24.
That’s a new one. A.J. Pollock’s first-inning line drive landed with such velocity that the ball wedged between the padding near the 376-foot signage in left field. The ground-rule double snapped an 0-for-8 homestand for Pollock, who later advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch and scored on Paul Goldschmidt’s ground out to second for the first D-backs run of the game. Pollock added a single to center in the second and finished 2-for-3 with a walk.
Timely two-out hitting by the D-backs produced a three-run third inning, and at the time, a 4-0 advantage. Hill, Castillo and Ahmed each had RBI base hits with Hill and Castillo contributing back-to-back doubles, two of the three recorded in the inning. For Ahmed, the at-bat, in which he fouled off six pitches before putting one in play, extended his streak of reaching base safely to a career-high 10 straight games.
Upon completion of a 1-2-3 fourth inning, De La Rosa tied his career-high with 12 straight scoreless innings, a streak that began with eight shutout frames in his last start on June 14 at San Francisco. De La Rosa established a new career scoreless mark of 12.2 consecutive innings after two quick outs in the fifth.
A day after his 27-game streak of reaching base safely ended, Goldschmidt began a new streak, getting on board in three of his four plate appearances. He walked in the third, singled in the fourth and reached on a catcher’s interference call in the seventh. Goldschmidt is now hitting .385 (10-for-26) against the Padres this season.
Talk about taking one for the team. Yasmany Tomas took an 89 mph fastball square on his left elbow for his first career hit-by-pitch in the first inning. After briefly being attended to by both assistant trainer Ryan DiPanfilo and manager Chip Hale, Tomas remained in the game, though he later was removed and replaced by Danny Dorn to begin the fourth inning because of a left elbow contusion. X-rays were negative.
Can’t fault his aggressiveness, yet Goldschmidt was tagged out at home trying to score from third base on a passed ball in the third inning. He was initially ruled safe by home plate umpire James Hoye, but the Padres challenged the call and after a one-minute, 17-second instant replay review, the play was overturned and Goldschmidt became out number one.
With two outs in the fifth inning, De La Rosa suddenly lost his command. He gave up back-to-back singles to Shields and Yangervis Solarte before walking Yonder Alonso to load the bases. That brought pitching coach Mike Harkey out of the dugout for a mound visit. However, seven pitches later, De La Rosa issued a second straight walk to bring in the Padres’ first run as Justin Upton watched a 99 mph fastball sail outside the strike zone.
Entering the day tied with Baltimore for the third-fewest errors in baseball, the D-backs committed back-to-back errors to begin the eighth. Both Ahmed and Jake Lamb were charged with throwing errors, resulting in an unearned run scored by the Padres when Cory Spangenberg hit a one-out sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-2. The D-backs now have 32 errors this season.
STAT OF THE GAME
1: The D-backs handed Shields his first loss in what was his 15th start of the season
HE SAID IT
“He did a great job; had great stuff tonight,” Hale said, referring to De La Rosa and then adding about his starter’s up-and-down season, “It’s a young guy finding his way. It’s the first time that someone is allowing him to go out there and if he has two or three bad outings he’s (not) back in the minor leagues. We’ve committed to him. He’s having some rough spots, of course; that’s baseball.”
Nearly four D-backs collided in shallow right-center field going after Solarte’s pop-up — eventually caught by Tomas — to leadoff the game.
De La Rosa threw a first-pitch strike to 23 of the 31 batters he faced.
Hill extended his overall errorless streak to 29 straight games and 30 in a row at second base.
Twelve-time Olympic medalist, including four gold, and the first and only swimmer to represent the U.S. in five Olympic Games Dara Torres threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Left-hander Robbie Ray takes the mound in game two of the three-game series which will be played on Saturday, June 20.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Ray (2-1) is coming off a win on June 15 in Los Angeles versus the Angels, tossing seven scoreless innings with two hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
He’s allowed two runs or less in each of his first four starts with the D-backs.
Acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team, four-player trade in December, Ray will be making his first-ever appearance against the Padres.
Meanwhile, San Diego counters with former all-star Tyson Ross (3-7).
The right-hander is on a two-game losing streak, dropping games to Atlanta and Oakland, and has suffered defeats in three of his last four starts overall in which his ERA reads 4.09 (10 ER in 22 IP) and opponents are batting .307 against him.
Ross is 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 career appearances — including nine starts — versus the D-backs.