Diamondbacks put it all together for series victory against Padres
Aug 13, 2023, 6:30 PM
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks played clean baseball, hung in despite an early deficit and rallied late to pick up a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres Sunday at Chase Field.
The D-backs earned their second series victory — their first at home — since the All-Star break and created more distance with a fellow National League Wild Card contender in doing so.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. evened the score 4-4 with a pinch-hit, two-run shot in the seventh, and the D-backs rallied to get the bases loaded in the eighth. Alek Thomas delivered with a sacrifice fly to go up a run, and closer Paul Sewald earned his second save with the organization after the trade deadline.
The performance had manager Torey Lovullo saying “we played D-backs baseball” after a win reminiscent of the first half of the year in many ways.
PINCH HIT PIÑA POWER!!! 🍍 pic.twitter.com/IPOUqyZYb5
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 13, 2023
“The little things started showing up again today and we executed with men in scoring position,” Lovullo said. “We let the ball get deep, base hits the other way, a big pinch-hit home run got us right back on it. Guys were engaged.
“I just felt a different vibe in the dugout, I have felt that for the past couple days. These guys are hungry to go out and make something really good happen every single day and to get the results. Seeing those smiling again gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
The D-backs had to overcome a hot Padres start with starting pitching Brandon Pfaadt getting hit around in the top of the first inning. Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth each drove in a run as Pfaadt allowed three runs on five hits in the first.
He settled in with 4.2 scoreless innings through the rest of his outing and did not let the game get away from him.
Pfaadt allowed five or more runs in four of his first six starts, but he has not let in more than four runs in any of his five outings since his latest call-up.
His July 22 start against the Cincinnati Reds, he said, was when he felt more in control of the game at the MLB level.
“I think early on it’s bright lights and everything, it’s the same game but kind of a different feel,” Pfaadt said. “Definitely when you get those starts under your belt, you can come to and be yourself.”
“I loved how he got himself back together,” Lovullo added. “That’s that’s part of maturing. I like to see young pitchers do that and see young players period do that.”
The rookie said his plan was to lean heavy fastball early and work off of it, which he adjusted after the first inning.
Padres hitters continued to make hard contact, but he got more swings and misses and called strikes, as he racked up a career high eight punch outs.
Brandon Pfaadt, Wicked 83mph Slider. 🤢
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 13, 2023
The Diamondbacks’ offense responded to adversity right away.
Corbin Carroll led off the first with a triple down the right-field line, and Ketel Marte scored him on a single. That’s all they did in the first, but it was a direct response Lovullo said made a statement to his dugout. Arizona scored in the opening frame twice during its nine-game losing streak that ended on Saturday with a 3-0 win.
Geraldo Perdomo blasted his first home run since May in the fifth inning, a solo shot to bring the deficit to 3-2.
Perdomo attempted to bunt twice and fouled two pitches off with a runner on first, and Jose Herrera was thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch Padres catcher Gary Sanchez made an athletic play to record the out.
The D-backs turned to Gurriel with one on, one out in the seventh after a Jace Peterson walk to hit for Herrera. He worked the count full after checking off a changeup that dropped low.
Reliever Nick Martinez left another changeup high on the zone that Gurriel hammered for his first career homer off the bench to tie the game. Gurriel yelled toward the dugout as he bounced to first base.
Christian Walker started a rally in the eighth with a single to bring up Gabriel Moreno for his first at-bat off the injured list (shoulder). Moreno was down 0-2 when he punched a single the other way. Walker beat the throw to third and Moreno swiped second. Peterson worked a 3-1 count, and Padres manager Bob Melvin put him aboard to face Thomas with the bases loaded and one out.
Thomas roped a line drive to center of Robert Suarez, just deep enough to score Walker from third for the lead.
The Answerbacks are back. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/1uFONLgS8c
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 13, 2023
“It was pretty cool the past few days to see us coming back together, good at-bats and just doing our thing and looking like ourselves,” Thomas said.
Thomas explained after the game that Arizona’s daily hitter’s meeting was different on Saturday. The time is usually spent going over opposing pitcher, one Lovullo sits in on at the start of each series. Thomas explained Walker and Perdomo spoke up and the conversation went less toward game planning and more about what the D-backs needed to do to get right.
“I’m just proud of the guys getting together and talking about the right things the right way,” Lovullo said.
The D-backs picked up a game on the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs, two wild card contenders they trail in the standings.
The Miami Marlins hold the third spot and are 2.5 games ahead of the D-backs.
Next D-backs series
The Diamondbacks head to Denver for three games against the Colorado Rockies starting Monday at 5:40 p.m.
Merrill Kelly is probable to start the series opener.
Tune in to first pitch on ESPN 620 AM, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.