SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bronson Arroyo figures the Diamondbacks’ disastrous start has to turn around at some point.
"I mean, I don’t think we’ll play 9-22 every 31 games," Arroyo said after he and two relievers combined to hold the punchless Padres to three hits in a 2-0 victory Friday night in a matchup of the bottom two teams in the NL West.
Aaron Hill provided Arroyo with all the backing he needed with a two-run single off Andrew Cashner in the third inning.
"We put ourselves in a huge hole, especially in this division with two teams that are pretty potent, so it’s going to be a long season no matter how you cut it, because we’re going to fighting uphill the whole way," Arroyo said. "Who knows where it’s going to end up."
The Diamondbacks finally hit double digits in wins but still have the worst record in the majors at 10-22. They also came in with the worst ERA at 5.20. The Padres came with a .217 batting average, worst in the NL and second-worst in the majors.
It was the first shutout for Arizona this season. San Diego was shut out for the fifth time, tying Atlanta for the big league lead.
Arroyo didn’t allow a hit until Yonder Alonso singled to right with one out in the fifth. Until then, the only base runner was leadoff batter Everth Cabrera, who reached in the first when Arroyo couldn’t handle a chopper for an error. Arroyo then proceeded to get 13 straight outs, including when Seth Smith grounded into an inning-ending double play in the first.
"They ran a lot of lefties at me, as usual, and I got the chance to take advantage of their aggressiveness in the outer half," Arroyo said. "They hit a lot of ground balls to second base. I had a little more zip tonight. I felt a little bit better. It makes a difference for me when I can get the ball up there 88, 89 once in a while — make them respect some of my other stuff a bit more."
Padres starter Andrew Cashner had a bad third inning. He loaded the bases on a single and two walks, then allowed Hill’s two-run single to left with two outs.
"It was nice to have a smooth one from front to back," Arroyo said. "Get a couple of runs off a tough pitcher and be able to hold the lead was definitely the way you want to start a road trip."
Arizona’s Kirk Gibson, who won his 300th game as manager, said Arroyo "has been trending toward throwing the ball better and better, and it was the best stuff he’s had all year tonight. We saw it from all arm slots — keeping the ball down when he wanted the ball down. I think he hit 90 mph one time."
Padres manager Bud Black said Arroyo "has been doing it for a long time. He got back to the form that made him tough."
San Diego’s Alexi Amarista reached third with two outs in the fifth before being stranded when rookie Jace Peterson grounded out. The Padres had runners on the corners with two outs in the seventh before Peterson again grounded out.
Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
"I didn’t think I did a very good job of a lot of stuff," Cashner said. "But I felt like I kept the team in the game, gave us a chance to win. The spot with the bases loaded, I can’t hang a slider."
NOTES: The Diamondbacks’ Ender Inciarte, recalled from Triple-A on Wednesday, singled to left in the ninth for his first big league hit. He started in center field. … Padres LF Carlos Quentin, who started the season on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Saturday for Class AA Lake Elsinore at Inland Empire.