Arizona Diamondbacks make offensive progress in loss to Padres
PHOENIX — While the Arizona Diamondbacks’ performance at the plate Saturday was not great, the team made baby steps offensively in a 5-2 loss to the San Diego Padres in front of 19,504 fans at Chase Field.
On Thursday, the D-backs (1-2) were held hitless by Padres (2-1) starter Yu Darvish through the first six innings of the game before Seth Beer’s walk-off home run salvaged Opening Day for Arizona. In Game 2 of the series on Friday, the D-backs were no-hit by Padres starter Sean Manaea through the first seven innings of the game and failed to score a run, losing 3-0.
On Saturday, the D-backs’ second batter of the game, Ketel Marte, singled off of Padres starter Joe Musgrove. Marte was driven in by the next batter, David Peralta.
After the Padres added two runs in the top of the third inning, Peralta hit a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth.
While he acknowledged there still needs to be more progress made offensively, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was happy the team was able to do some damage off of a starter for the first time this season.
“It was nice,” Lovullo said. “I knew that it was coming. Ketel worked inside of a baseball and hit a soft line drive fly ball to left field for a base hit and then David stays on a 3-2 changeup and drives it over the center fielder’s head. So those are two really good offensive approaches. I think there was a couple lean innings in there … but I thought overall we did enough to keep ourselves in the ballgame and that’s what we need to do.”
The other positive in the game for the D-backs was the performance of starting pitcher Zach Davies. He was the first starter in Arizona’s three games so far this season to go five innings. He gave up just two runs on four hits, walking three batters and striking out two.
“I felt pretty good with the command today of the fastball, changeup, cutter,” Davies said. “There were a couple at-bats that were a little bit of a deep count and walked a few too many guys today but being able to work everything to both sides of the plate was something that I felt good about tonight.”
The game was decided in the top of the eighth inning when Ian Kennedy was inserted to pitch in his first game with the D-backs since 2013. It was a rough return for the righty, as he gave up the game-winning RBI-single to Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer and another run on an Austin Barnes sacrifice fly. In his lone inning of work, he gave up two runs on two hits, walked a batter and was charged with the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season.
“I think he couldn’t get a feel for his breaking ball,” Lovullo said. “… And a lot of those balls were spiked breaking balls into the dirt. So I just don’t think he had a great feel for his breaking ball and became one-dimensional. He’s going to be fine. The velocity was there.”
The Padres padded their lead in the top of the ninth inning on left fielder José Azocar’s first big league hit. His RBI-single made it 5-2 San Diego and the D-backs went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to fall to below .500 for the first time this season.
The D-backs will try to split the series with the Padres Sunday at Chase Field. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Caleb Smith is set to start on the mound for the D-backs while Blake Snell is slated to pitch for the Padres.