After a 10-4 thumping of Arizona on Saturday night, the Padres dropped the rubber-match of their three-game set to the D-Backs this afternoon by a score of 6-5.
To their credit, Arizona’s hitters jumped all over starter Jason Marquis from the beginning of the game and scored four runs in the first two innings. Eric Chavez set the tone for the game after he hit a two-out, two-run home run to put Arizona in front 2-1 after Chris Denorfia scored in the top of the first for the Friars. The D-Backs then plated two more in the next inning with some solid situational hitting courtesy of Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra.
Marquis, who had pitched well over the last month, was pulled with one out in the bottom of the fourth, and the Padres were forced to use their bullpen for the rest of the way. The Padres bullpen managed to limit Arizona’s offense to only two more runs over the rest of the game, but the damage had already been done.
Credit must also go to Martin Prado as he was an absolute nuisance for San Diego’s pitchers over the course of the series. He proved to be too much for San Diego’s pitchers to handle on the day as he went 4 for 4 and played some slick defense to boot.
San Diego’s hitters tried their best to crawl back into the game, but they were held in check just enough by Patrick Corbin, who moved to 8-0 on the season, and the rest of Arizona’s pitching staff who did a nice job as they thwarted any chances for “big innings” by the Friars’ hitters.
Nevertheless, the Padres tied the game at four in the top of the fifth when Carlos Quentin hit a two-run home run. Then in the top of the eighth, Kyle Blanks hit a two-out double to score Will Venable from second to close the gap to 6-5. Unfortunately, the Padres were unable to score off of Heath Bell in the bottom of the ninth and the game ended in an Arizona victory.
Although the Padres lost two of the three games, they definitely looked like they could hang and stick with one of the division’s best teams. While there is still much work to be done, San Diego is showing some signs of improvement and is continuing to play competitive baseball.
Tomorrow, the Friars (22-27) will head to Seattle for a two game set before they head home to play another two against the Mariners on Wednesday and Thursday.