Diamondbacks 6, Padres 5

The rare sellout crowd came to see Luis Gonzalez, screamed as

the veil pulled back on his No. 20 and replays of his most famous

hit played on the video screen at least a dozen times during the

game.

Chris Young gave them something else to remember: a highlight of

his own. Actually, two of them.

Young started and ended the game with homers, bookend shots that

gave the Arizona Diamondbacks a too-good-to-be-true 6-5 win over

the backsliding San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

”It was the perfect script,” Young said after becoming the

fourth player in 40 years to lead off and end a game with a

homer.

The night started with a tribute to Gonzalez, the all-time fan

and teammate favorite who the unquestionably biggest hit in

Arizona’s history, that dink single off Yankees closer Mariano

Rivera to win Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

Energized by seeing ”Gonzo” become the first Arizona player to

have hit number retired, the Diamondbacks got off to a roaring

start, beginning with Young’s 16th career leadoff homer. Arizona

then battered Clayton Richard for four runs in the fourth,

including one on a bizarre wild pitch during an intentional

walk.

A few hiccups by starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed San Diego to chip

away, but the lead was still two heading into the ninth. Aaron

Heilman (3-3) had a scoreless innings streak of 10 1-3 innings

heading into the game, so the 48,946 fans didn’t become too uneasy

when Jerry Hairston Jr. led off the ninth with a homer.

That quickly changed when Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-strike,

two-out solo to left off Heilman, shifting the fans from standing

and cheering to sitting and booing.

Young made it worth the anguish.

Looking for a slider on a 1-1 pitch from Luke Gregerson and

getting it, Young sent a no-doubt homer on a line to left, turning

a night of celebration into one to remember.

”(There was) a lot of talk about what Gonzo represents to the

organization, how he played and how he treated everybody,” interim

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ”It is kind of the message we

are trying to get across. Then to be able to play a game like that

and have it end like that after we watched all the highlights of

Gonzo doing it: We can be like you.”

San Diego wants to be somewhere else.

The Padres were able to rally late, but the second straight

desert dud against the last-place Diamondbacks was their sixth loss

in nine games. The Padres still came away clinging to a one-game

lead in the NL West because San Francisco lost at Atlanta, which,

combined with the at-least-we-came-back approach, was something

positive.

”I loved the way we fought back,” Padres manager Bud Black

said. ”We had our chances.”

The Padres didn’t seem to have any after Richard’s rough

start.

Young responded to a day off by sending the his third pitch into

the seats in left, then Richard came apart in the fourth.

Adam LaRoche got it started with a run-scoring single and Rusty

Ryal followed with a ground-rule double to knock in another run.

That put runners on first and second, so the Padres decided to

intentionally walk Stephen Drew to get to .200 hitter John

Hester.

They got the intentional walk, but Richard sailed the fourth

pitch over catcher Nick Hundley’s head, allowing LaRoche to score

from third. Hester made matters worse by lining a run-scoring

single up the middle to put the Diamondbacks up 5-0.

”It is very unusual, for sure,” Gibson said of the intentional

walk/wild pitch combo. ”You don’t expect things like that to

happen.”

Lopez didn’t allow a homer for just the fifth time in 23 starts,

but ran into trouble in the sixth inning.

The Padres had four straight hits off the right-hander in the

inning, including Ryan Ludwick’s run-scoring double and an RBI

single by Chase Headley that brought Gibson out for the hook.

Hundley followed with a sacrifice fly off D.J. Carrasco to cut the

lead to 5-3 before the inning ended with a double play.

Lopez was pegged for all three runs on eight hits in five

innings, but was a side note to the drama that played out

later.

”People got a good show and we came away with a win,” Lopez

said. ”It’s a good thing.”

Notes: Padres RHP Chris Young had no setbacks after a 30-pitch

bullpen session. He’s been on the DL with a strained shoulder since

April 7. … The Diamondbacks completed their trade with the LA

Angels, adding LHP Tyler Skaggs as the player to be named in the

July 25 Dan Haren trade. … Arizona 3B Mark Reynolds didn’t start

for the third straight game with a head injury, but was available

as a pinch hitter. He was struck on the helmet by a pitch on

Tuesday. … San Diego’s Tony Gwynn ended an 0-for-20 slump with a

single off Sam Demel in the eighth inning.