James Shields pushed past 200 innings pitched once again for the year but the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the San Diego Padres 4-2 Sunday afternoon on the strength of three home runs. Ender Inciarte was the star for the Diamondbacks as he hit two home runs with David Peralta hitting the other one for the D’backs. The Padres took advantage of 5 walks by Arizona pitching but only managed 5 hits themselves in scoring 2 runs, including one by pitcher James Shields.
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Shields fell to 13-7 on the year, and certainly a large part of that has been his propensity for allowing the long ball. With the three home runs on Sunday he is now tied for the league lead in a category he would not like to lead. The bullpen came in and did a good job keeping the game close, with Nick Vincent, Shawn Kelley, and Jon Edwards not allowing a run in their 2 1/3 innings. Shields has had more games than expected where perhaps he wasn’t his sharpest – but he has held up his mental end of the bargain. “I go out there every five days and pitch with my heart on my sleeve. I’m going to be a bulldog out as much as I can.” he said as reported by Corey Brock and Steve Gilbert.
Rookie Travis Jankowski hit in the lead off spot for the Padres again and did get a triple in the game that also drove in the first Padres run. It was his second triple since being called up from the minor’s about a month ago now.
The series loss to the Diamondbacks puts the Padres 2 GB of the D-backs in the NL West. With a week left in the season their record now stands at 73-83 and certainly hopes of a .500 season are gone but breaking last seasons record of 77 wins is still within the realm of possibility. Three games against Milwaukee who are missing Ryan Braun and three more against an LA Dodgers team that will already have punched their playoff ticket in all likelihood.