ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Padres walk off Diamondbacks on back-to-back homers

Apr 3, 2023, 8:23 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2023, 8:05 am

Ryne Nelson #19 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws out Ha-Seong Kim #7 of the San Diego Padres afte...

Ryne Nelson #19 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws out Ha-Seong Kim #7 of the San Diego Padres after his short hit to the mound during the fourth inning of a game at PETCO Park on April 03, 2023 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The not-so-glamorous bottom of the San Diego Padres’ lineup delivered a stunning walk-off win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pinch-hitter David Dahl and Ha-Seong Kim hit consecutive home runs opening the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Padres over Arizona 5-4 on Monday night for their third straight victory.

San Diego moved above .500 for the first time this year and became the first team in major league history with a walk-off win on back-to-back homers by its No. 8 and No. 9 batters, according to OptaSTATS.

“David Dahl hit the tying home run and I was just wanting to keep that momentum going and then I had a great pitch to hit and I was able to walk it off,” Kim said through an interpreter. “I’m kind of sorry for David that I took all the spotlight, but he hit a great tying home run that was able to set me up for a great moment. Giving the team the win was the most important thing.”

The Diamondbacks took a 4-3 lead on Evan Longoria’s homer in the top of the ninth, two innings after rookie Corbin Carroll tied the game with a leadoff shot to right field.

But the Padres came right back with Dahl’s leadoff drive to left-center and, with the crowd chanting his name, Kim’s long ball to left off Scott McGough (0-1), his first walk-off hit in the majors.

Tim Hill (1-0) got the win after getting the final two outs in the ninth.

Dahl, an All-Star with Colorado in 2019, signed as a free agent in December after playing in the minor leagues last year.

“I’m so excited, just thankful for this opportunity and just glad to put the team on the board right there,” he said. “I’m still fired up. Still shaking.”

The spotlight on the Padres this year will be on the superstar-laden heart of the order, which includes Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts. Soto hit his first homer of the year, but Dahl and Kim had the biggest hits.

“It feels great. I’ve been watching from afar the last couple of years here and it just looks so fun,” Dahl said. “I’m so thankful to be a part of it now.”

Soto hit a two-run shot off rookie right-hander Ryne Nelson just two batters in. Trent Grisham had a leadoff single and Soto followed with a drive to right-center. It was just the second hit of the season for Soto, obtained Aug. 2 last year in a blockbuster trade with Washington.

The Padres have World Series expectations after making it to the NL Championship Series last year and then signing Bogaerts to a $280 million, 11-year contract. They’ll get Fernando Tatis Jr. back on April 20 from an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

“We expect to do a lot of damage and when Tati comes back it deepens the lineup,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But when you have guys at the bottom, it gives a feeling that we can score in any inning.”

The Diamondbacks tied it in the second on Nick Ahmed’s RBI single and a double-play ball by Gabriel Moreno.

Machado gave the Padres the lead back when he hit a grounder down the first-base line that caromed off the bag and got past a diving Christian Walker.

In the top of the third, with Ketel Marte aboard on a leadoff double, Machado, the third baseman, made a spectacular leaping grab of Kyle Lewis’ line drive to prevent a run.

Ryan Weathers, who made only one start last year, held the Diamondbacks to two runs and five hits in five innings.

The Associated Press contributed this portion of this story.

D-backs’ Nelson finds a groove after bumpy start

Nelson settled in after a rough two innings in his first start of the season.

“We were in a really good spot. We had kind of sold out to certain matchups, it was working,” D-backsmanager Torey Lovullo told reporters postgame. “We’re up by a run with McGough coming in the game, I felt very good about it.

“That’s the beauty of this game, it can change quickly. He just made a couple mistakes with up pitches and that was the difference in the game.”

The 25-year-old, who beat out friend and minor league roommate Drey Jameson for the fifth and final spot in the D-backs (2-3) starting rotation, allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three over 97 pitches (59 strikes).

However, the Padres (3-2) really made Nelson work in their at-bats in the first two innings, forcing the righty to throw 32 pitches in the first inning and 26 in the second, with his fastball topping out at 96.2 mph.

It was the big-name bats for the Padres who did the damage against Nelson, as Juan Soto hit his first home run of the year in the bottom of the first inning to make it 2-0 San Diego.

And after the D-backs tied it up in the top half of the second, the Padres got another run on the board on a rather unlucky play from an Arizona perspective.

With two outs and runners on first and second, San Diego third baseman Manny Machado hit a cue ball off the end of the bat that rolled down the first base line and caromed off the bag and into right field for an RBI base hit.

But a nine-pitch third frame and a 14-pitch, one-two-three fourth inning provided Nelson the opportunity to complete five full innings of work and take a little bit of pressure off the bullpen before Lovullo replaced him with right-handed reliever Cole Sulser.

“It was a battle. It was a little bit of a fistfight for us the whole day,” Lovullo said. “Nelly I thought after two innings, I told myself I’d be presently surprised if he got us through five and he just really settled in. He started to land the breaking ball, maybe pitching backwards, he saw the things that were working. He and (catcher Gabriel) Moreno got into a really good rythem.

“That was the first battle and then we just scratched out a couple runs. They score a run on a groundball off the end of Machado’s bat that goes off the first base bag and we had to regroup from that. We fought hard today but we just came up a little short.”

DIG THE LONG-BALL

Diamondbacks rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll and veteran third baseman Evan Longoria hit their first home runs of the season, both of which came in very clutch moments.

Carroll hit his to tie the game in the top of the seventh with this shot to right.

Longoria gave the D-backs the lead in the top of the ninth on this blast to left field.

Unfortunately for Arizona, McGough was not able to record an out in his save attempt, as he allowed back-to-back solo homers to Dahl and Kim to walk it off.

“The first batter, I thought the velo on the fastball was real good and just missed with an up splitter and then it looked like the same thing to the final hitter,” Lovullo said. “It’s hard to hit a pinch-hit home run in this game, and it happened and I feel like we need to find a way to regroup in that situation and make something happen.

“We got clipped, we got clipped for back-to-back home runs and there’s not a thing we can do about it. We have to move on and get ready for tomorrow.”

FINAL FOUR FUN

The Padres had a little fun with D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed when he was at the plate, displaying on the scoreboard during his at-bat that he made 482 outs and was caught stealing 17 times during his time as a Connecticut Husky (2009-11).

San Diego State was playing UConn in the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament title game simultaneously, and Ahmed responded with an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the ballgame.

UP NEXT

The D-backs will try to split the two-game series against the Padres on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

Arizona ace Zac Gallen (0-1, 9.64 ERA) is scheduled to start against San Diego right-hander Yu Darvish (first start).

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Padres walk off Diamondbacks on back-to-back homers