The best way to make up for a losing streak is to put your head down, go to work and start stacking wins.
The Arizona Diamondbacks may be on their way to doing exactly that.
Archie Bradley stepped in to deliver a strong performance on the mound, as Arizona took down the San Diego Padres by a final of 6-3 in front of 21,458 at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon.
That’s two straight wins now for Chip Hale’s squad, and they were able to jump out to a sizable lead in both contests. After building an early 8-1 advantage in their win on Saturday, the D-backs surged to a 6-1 advantage after just two innings of play in this one.
Chris Owings delivered the power, with a solo shot in the second inning and Paul Goldschmidt picked up a pair of hits, to go along with two RBIs.
The story today was Bradley though. Making just his third start of the season and his first since May 9 the big righty fanned nine San Diego hitters while scattering four hits and three earned runs over 7.1 innings.
That all adds up to his best start of the year, by far and a strong case could be made that this was his best performance at the Major League level since he took a line drive off the face way back on April 28, 2015.
With the victory today, Arizona is now 23-29 on the season.
-Bradley helped his own cause at the plate, beating out a bunt for an RBI single in the second.
-Owings picked up his second home run of the season, when he deposited a 2-2 Drew Pomeranz pitch into the left field seats in the bottom of the second inning. He now has at least one hit in 10 of his last 11 games, and 17 of his last 19.
-Nick Ahmed had a very productive afternoon. He finished the game with two hits, added a stolen base and scored a run in the second inning by sprinting home on a grounder to second base in time to beat the throw to the plate by Alexi Amarista.
-Ahmed also made an excellent defensive play in the fourth, on a sharp grounder up the middle by Melvin Upton, Jr. Ahmed immediately sprinted to his left, just barely managed to snag the ball in the webbing of his glove and fired an off-balance throw to first in time to get the runner.
-After scoring their sixth run of the game, eight of the next 11 Arizona batters struck out. In fact, the D-backs struck out 14 times in this game, and every starter except Chris Herrmann fanned at least once.
STAT OF THE GAME
9: Number of San Diego batters that Archie Bradley struck out today – a career high.
HE SAID IT
“I’ve kind of stopped caring about how hard I throw. I’m more about the location and the accuracy of where the pitch is going. And I’ve noticed that – whether it’s 94 or 91 – it does have a little more zip on it. It’s got a little more late run. Guys haven’t necessarily been able to square it up as much as in the past. So I’m just going to continue to keep doing that, and hopefully it keeps doing what it is.” – Archie Bradley
-The Diamondbacks have now won three of their last four series.
Arizona will begin a four-game, home-and-home series with the Houston Astros at Chase Field on Monday. Edwin Escobar gets the nod for the D-backs in the opener, while Hoston counters with Collin McHugh. First pitch is set for 1:10, with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Escobar (0-0) will be making his first ever Major League start. He appeared in two games for the Boston Red Sox back in 2014, but that’s it. The 24-year old was claimed off waivers by Arizona on April 29, and has made five starts for Triple-A Reno since.
The Diamondbacks are hoping they get a performance from Escobar that’s more reminiscent of his most recent outing with the Aces, when he tossed 6.0 shutout innings against New Orleans – as opposed to, say, his previous start, where he surrendered 11 runs (nine earned) in 4.0 innings vs Omaha.
McHugh (4-4) got out of the gates slowly this season, going 1-3 to open the 2016 campaign. But he has picked things up considerably of late. He hasn’t registered an official win since May 8, but he struck out 18 while allowing just 13 total hits and 5 runs over his last two starts.
In three career appearances against Arizona, the 28-year old righty is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA.