Padres 5, Diamondbacks 4

The lead down to one, momentum about to swing to the other

dugout, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera went into the hole and

came up with the kind of play that not only makes the highlights,

but changes the complexion of the game.

It also was the kind of play that keeps winning streaks

going.

Edison Volquez pitched seven effective innings, Cabrera

preserved his lead with a spectacular dive-and-throw in the eighth

inning and the Padres extended their winning streak to a

season-high seven games with a 5-4 victory over the Arizona

Diamondbacks on Sunday.

”That’s a huge play, a momentum-changer,” Padres manager Bud

Black said.

San Diego already had plenty on its side.

The Padres came into the game on a roll, winning the series’

first two games by a combined score of 14-3 for their second

six-game winning streak in August.

They kept it going with the same formula: good starting

pitching, superb defense and a bunch of hits.

San Diego roughed up Trevor Cahill (9-11) and had at least 10

hits for the sixth time in eight games. Volquez (9-9) recovered

after a shaky first inning and San Diego’s bullpen escaped some

sketchy moments of its own. The defense, particularly up the

middle, was stellar all day, no matter who was pitching.

The combination lifted the Padres to their second sweep in the

desert this season and sixth straight win over Arizona, matching a

franchise record against the Diamondbacks.

”We’re playing pretty good right now,” Volquez said.

The Diamondbacks are not.

After collecting two runs and three hits in the first inning,

Arizona had one more hit off Volquez over the next six innings.

Aaron Hill hit a two-run homer off Brad Brach in the eighth to pull

Arizona within one, but Cabrera made his diving stop at the edge of

the grass on a grounder by Justin Upton.

The Diamondbacks still had a chance, but Luke Gregerson escaped

a jam to finish off the eighth, then pitched a perfect ninth for

his first save since 2010.

Arizona has lost three straight and five of seven. It dropped to

4-10 its last 14 home games.

”When you get into streaks like this, sometimes it doesn’t seem

fair,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ”There (is) no rhyme or

reason, but it is the way it worked out for us.”

It started with Cahill. The right-hander has been plagued by

slow starts and Sunday was no different.

Moved up in the rotation after Arizona traded left-hander Joe

Saunders to Baltimore, Cahill opened with a couple of groundouts

before giving up a single to Chase Headley. He then walked Carlos

Quentin to set up Yasmani Grandal’s run-scoring single and Yonder

Alonso made it 2-0 with another single.

Cahill drew a few boos from the home crowd after walking Mark

Kotsay to load the bases before ending the threat with a groundout.

He needed 32 pitches to get through the first inning and has

allowed 19 runs in the opening frame in 26 starts.

Cahill had more two-out problems in the third inning, giving up

a run-scoring single to Kotsay after hitting Grandal with a pitch

and Alonso’s single. He allowed another run in the fourth on a

single by Quentin that made it 4-2 and was done after walking

Grandal to load the bases with two out in the inning.

The Padres had eight of their 11 hits off Cahill, who allowed at

least four runs for the third time in four starts.

”I didn’t throw the ball real well,” Cahill said. ”When I

made good pitches, they still found holes and that makes it

tough.”

Volquez had similar first-inning problems, giving up two-out RBI

singles to Miguel Montero and Chris Young.

The right-hander settled into a groove after that. He allowed

two runs and four hits for his second straight quality start after

allowing at least four runs in four straight outings.

”Sometimes it takes some pitches to get your arm loose and get

the ball where you want it,” Volquez said.

The Padres gave Volquez plenty of defensive help, particularly

second baseman Alexi Amarista. He made several spectacular stops,

the best of the bunch coming in the second inning, when he ranged

behind the bag and made a jump throw to get Jake Elmore by a

half-step at first.

After Hill hit his 20th homer to cut San Diego’s lead to 5-4,

Cabrera made a how-did-he-do-that diving stop on Upton to squelch

Arizona’s momentum.

”That’s one of the best plays I’ve seen,” Black said of

Cabrera’s stop. ”An unbelievable play.”

Gregerson later struck out Chris Johnson with runners on second

and third in the eighth while extending his scoreless streak to 22

games. He also made a diving stop to get pinch-hitter Jason Kubel

for the second out in the ninth, and San Diego went on to its

seventh straight win at Chase Field.

NOTES: A three-man umpire crew officiated the game after crew

chief Tim Tschida, who was slated to work third base, was scratched

due to ”personal medical reasons.” … Upton extended his home

hitting streak to 19 games with a single in the first inning. …

Arizona LHP Tyler Skaggs, Monday’s starter against Cincinnati,

earned the win in his major league debut on Wednesday after

allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings against Miami. … RHP Casey

Kelly will make his major league debut for the Padres on Monday

night against Atlanta. He was part of the 2010 trade that sent

first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.