SAN DIEGO (AP) — Diamondbacks right-hander Trevor Cahill tied his career high with his 10th strikeout of the night when he fanned Will Venable for the second out of the sixth inning with the bases loaded.
One more strikeout — or just one more out, period — and Cahill would have gotten out of the inning. Instead, Logan Forsythe hit a two-run double and left-hander Eric Stults pitched a career-best two-hitter to give the Padres a 2-1 victory over the NL West-leading Diamondbacks on Friday night.
The fourth-place Padres pulled within four games of the D-backs. San Diego has won four straight and seven of nine overall.
Bench coach Alan Trammell managed the Diamondbacks while Kirk Gibson served his one-game suspension stemming from Tuesday night’s brawl against the Dodgers.
“I think we’ve all been around the game for quite a while. When you get two hits, you’re probably not going to win,” Trammell said.
“Trevor really pitched a fine ballgame,” he said. “Unfortunately, the sixth was his undoing.”
The Padres loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth when Alexi Amarista walked, Chase Headley was hit by a pitch and Carlos Quentin beat out a dribbling infield single to third base. Cahill (3-8) struck out Kyle Blanks and Venable before Forsythe singled to left-center, bringing in Amarista and Headley. Forsythe took second on a bobble by A.J. Pollock.
“Those first-batter walks come back to haunt you,” Cahill said. “I got ahead of Headley 1-2 and try to make a nasty pitch and hit him in the foot. … It’s tough. We’re in first place, and you want to have an opportunity to get a bigger lead, and I was just one pitch away. I made a bad pitch on Forsythe and couldn’t get out of it.”
Cahill then intentionally walked Yasmani Grandal and was replaced by Will Harris, who struck out Stults to end the inning.
Cahill allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked three.
“A lot of times, early in the game, he often has trouble, but not tonight,” Trammell said. “Right from the get-go, he was pretty darn good. You can’t fault anyone for one inning or a few hitters. It goes back to the offense that scored one run.”
Gerardo Parra doubled to lead off the game and scored on Cody Ross’ sacrifice fly to make it 1-0, but Stults didn’t give up another hit until Willie Bloomquist singled with one out in the ninth.
Stults (6-5) retired 16 of the last 17 batters for his third career complete game. He struck out three and walked one. He previously had thrown two four-hitters.
NOTES: Gibson watched the game from a skybox with general manager Kevin Towers. … Cahill set his career high with 10 strikeouts on June 26, 2010, against the Pirates. … Before the game, the Padres honored their 1998 team, which won the second NL pennant in team history before being swept by the Yankees in the World Series. Lefty Sterling Hitchcock, the MVP of the NLCS victory against the Braves, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to catcher Carlos Hernandez. Anisha Gwynn Jones, daughter of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, sang the national anthem. … Towers was GM of the Padres in 1998. … D-backs RHP Ian Kennedy was suspended 10 games and infielder Eric Hinske five for their roles in Tuesday’s fight in L.A. Both are appealing.