Padres' big fourth inning dooms D-backs in 6-4 loss as NL West race tightens.
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS Arizona
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Diamondbacks have failed to make adjustments against the
Padres' pitchers the last night two nights.
Arizona, which was outmatched by Eric Stults in his 2-1 complete-game victory Friday night, had Jason Marquis on the ropes with a 3-0 lead after three innings Saturday night. But the Padres scored five unearned runs in the fourth inning off Wade Miley, highlighted by Yasmani Grandal's three-run homer into the left-field bleachers, and held on for a 6-4 victory over the D-backs, who had just seven hits a night after getting two.
"We have to make adjustments or else they are going to do the same thing to us (Sunday)," said manger Kirk Gibson.
Marquis (9-2) allowed three runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, winning his eighth straight decision to help San Diego extend its winning streak to five, improved to .500 (34-34) and pull within three games of first-place Arizona in the NL West.
Huston Street, who came off the disabled list Friday, came on in the ninth allowed one run but picked up his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
The Padres, who began the season 5-15, have strung together a 29-19 record since April 24, tied for the second-best mark in the National League in that time; the Cardinals have gone 32-16.
The last time the Padres were at .500 was April 10, 2011, when they were 4-4. Their last day above .500 was also the last day of the 2010 season, when they finished 90-72.
For a while it looked as though the Padres were going to fall short of that elusive .500 goal after the Diamondbacks staked Miley to a 3-0 lead through three innings, thanks in part to a two-run home run by Miguel Montero in the first inning. But other than a scratch run in the top of the fourth, that was all the offense Arizona could muster.
"We have to make adjustments," said Gibson. "People just keep doing the same thing to you and you keep acting like you don't know what's going on -- it's kind of bad. I didn't like our at-bats at all. We should have rebounded better than that."
Miley faced the minimum over the first three frames and had allowed only a walk to Grandal when Everth Cabrera led off the fourth with a single to right. Chris Denorfia followed with a hard shot to shortstop that Didi Gregorius misplayed for an error.
Chase Headley then drove in San Diego's first run with a single to center. After Kyle Blanks reached on a fielder's choice, Logan Forsythe hit a sacrifice fly to score Denorfia. Jesus Guzman followed with a single to right, and Grandal, who started the year on a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, hit his first homer of the year -- a 442-foot shot into the second deck in left field. That gave the Padres a 5-3 lead on five unearned runs.
Grandal thought Marquis did a great job of making adjustments after the first couple of innings.
"I just found myself a little bit mechanically," said Marquis. "I didn't think I was going to get out of the third, but I got a little boost of energy, I felt something in my delivery at the end of the third inning when I was facing the eight and nine hitters, and I just rolled with it, and things went smoothly from there."
Blanks added his seventh home run of the year in the sixth, a line shot to left off Miley.
The D-backs threatened in the eighth with singles by Gregorius and Montero, but Dale Thayer struck out Cody Ross and Jason Kubel looking to end the inning.
"We started out pretty good," said Montero. "Jason (Kubel) seemed pretty upset. But we couldn't get a rally going. Then (Marquis) made a good pitch (to Miley) to get out of that jam in the top of the fourth. It's frustrating."
NOTES: Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said he hasn't heard anything about the appeals of his players' suspensions from their fight with the Dodgers earlier this week. Arizona will likely play with a 24-man roster with pitcher Ian Kennedy being given a 10-game suspension. Gibson is confident the suspensions will be staggered, allowing the team to mix and match position players. ... D-backs 2B Aaron Hill was scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Saturday night for Triple -A Reno at Tucson. He will play Sunday, take off on Monday and play for Reno at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. Gibson was hopeful that Hill would play at least five innings. Hill has been sidelined since April 11 with a slight fracture in his left hand. ... Padres OF Carlos Quentin was out of the starting lineup because of an injured left shoulder, which he said he hurt taking a swing on Friday. ... Clayton Richard, originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, will start Sunday. Padres manager Bud Black said he wanted to keep Marquis on regular rest and give the struggling Richard an extra day between starts. Richard (1-5, 8.06) will be opposed by Kennedy (3-4, 5.49) who is appealing his suspension.