If there’s a silver lining to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ recent four-game losing streak, it might simply be the fact that none of the losses involved Zack Greinke.
The 32-year old righty took the mound for the club’s last victory before the skid began, and he played the role of stopper to end it on Saturday.
Paul Goldschmidt homered, Michael Bourn recorded three hits and Greinke picked up his sixth win of the season as the D-backs knocked off the San Diego Padres by a final of 8-7 in front of 23,927 at Chase Field.
For Greinke, that’s now six wins in his last seven decisions and three in a row. His final numbers didn’t look all that dominant, as he allowed four runs over 6.0 innings, while fanning two San Diego hitters. But he cruised through the first five frames, giving up just two hits and inducing 10 ground ball outs in that stretch.
The Padres got to him for three in the sixth, but they weren’t exactly hammering his pitches. In fact, one of the more damaging hits was a double that careened off the first base bag and into foul territory. Fortunately for Chip Hale’s group, they had built an 8-1 lead by that point.
As it turned out, they needed all eight runs. San Diego plated those three in the sixth to make it 8-4, then made things interesting by sending another trio of runners across the plate in the ninth. Finally, Brad Ziegler was able to get Alexi Amarista to hit into a double play to end the game.
With the win, the Diamondbacks are now 22-29 overall, and 8-18 at home. They’re still nine games back of the first place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
-Batting in the eighth spot, Greinke helped his own cause with a single up the middle in the second inning. He then scored on a base hit by Bourn.
-Goldschmidt cranked his team-leading ninth home run down the leftfield line on a 1-0 pitch in the same inning. When the dust had settled, Arizona plated five runs in the second.
-Goldschmidt also picked up his sixth stolen base of the season when he nabbed second in the eighth inning.
-Jean Segura threw out Yangervis Solarte at home to close out that difficult sixth inning. Brett Wallace picked up an infield single on the play, but Segura was at least able to knock the ball down. And when Solarte made the ill-advised decision to try scoring from second, the rally was over.
-Segura was nearly hit in the head (again) by a pitch in the fourth. He was able to duck just in time, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as what happened in the series with the Pirates this past week, but it was still an unsettling sight for Arizona fans.
-Ziegler’s ninth inning was shaky, to say the least.
STAT OF THE GAME
4: Number of times Bourn reached base tonight, including a triple, a pair of runs scored, a pair of RBI and a steal. Safe to say he’s been a pretty nice addition for the D-backs so far.
HE SAID IT
“Can it be a little easier than that? Please?” – Chip Hale, talking about a ninth inning that nearly went very badly for Arizona.
-Chris Owings had quite the eventful at bat in the bottom of the seventh. First, he ripped a Matt Thornton pitch deep off the centerfield wall that was deemed a home run. Upon review, however, it was overturned and called a ground-rule double. Owings then attempted to steal third, was called out but — upon review again — was ultimately ruled safe.
-The D-backs optioned Dominic Leone following the game.
Arizona and San Diego will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday, with Archie Bradley taking the hill for the D-backs. The Padres will counter with Drew Pomeranz. First pitch is set for 1:10, with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Bradley (1-0) has made a pair of spot starts this season, picking up the win while allowing four runs over 7.0 innings in his last game – a 10-5 victory over the Rockies in Coors Field on May 9. He was also on the mound for Arizona’s 9-7 win over the Giants on April 18.
The righty has been dominant for Triple-A Reno in 2016, going 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 47 strikeouts in seven starts.
Despite his even record, Pomeranz (4-4) has been one of the better pitchers in all of baseball this season. His 1.70 ERA is second only to Clayton Kershaw (1.48), and he has surrendered more than two runs in a game just once all year. In the month of May, his ERA is a microscopic 0.87 over 31.0 innings.
Sunday will mark the big lefty’s eighth appearance against the Diamondbacks. In his previous seven, he’s gone 0-2 with a robust 7.91 ERA.