San Diego Padres rapid reaction: Diamondbacks take critical series as Padres keep scuffling

In a series the San Diego Padres desperately needed to win, the Arizona Diamondbacks made the necessary plays to take two of three games.

Arizona Diamondbacks pinch hitter Lourdes Gurriel Jr. versus San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks pinch hitter Lourdes Gurriel Jr. versus San Diego Padres / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres dropped a 5-4 decision on Sunday afternoon to the Arizona Diamondbacks. With that loss, the Padres not only lost the series, but also slipped further behind Arizona in the Wild Card race and further away from the .500 mark.

San Diego Padres lose series to Arizona Diamondbacks

After putting together a 10-5 win on Friday night after some tough words from Juan Soto following a sweep of the Padres in Seattle, the Padres were shut out on Saturday thanks to a masterful performance on the mound from Zac Gallen. On Sunday, it was a two-run pinch-hit home run by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. off Nick Martinez that ignited a Diamondbacks comeback, with Alek Thomas coming through with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly that would prove to be the difference in the game.

San Diego has now lost six of its last seven games to fall to 56-62 on the season. While a Wild Card berth is still certainly possible, this recent stretch of play has done little to help San Diego's odds or the fans' confidence in that actually happening.

The Padres now return home for 10 games, facing the Baltimore Orioles for three contests starting on Monday, Arizona for four games, and the Miami Marlins for three games. All three teams are competing for the postseason, meaning the Padres will have their hands full against teams who are hungry to win.

That "hungry" description should for San Diego as well. However, what we've seen from the Padres since a mini-burst just before the MLB trade deadline has been frustrating, head-scratching and about any other description you can think of from the Padres perspective. That includes dropping a series in the desert that could be described as a must-win against a Diamondbacks team that had lost nine consecutive games before rallying against San Diego for victories on Saturday and Sunday.

No, the clock hasn't struck midnight. But it sure feels like it's at 11:59 for the Padres and their postseason hopes.