Padres 9, Diamondbacks 3
Yonder Alonso knew the San Diego Padres had Ian Kennedy on the
ropes, so he delivered a pair of knockout blows.
Alonso hit the last of San Diego’s three solo homers and added a
two-run single to lead the streaking Padres past the Arizona
Diamondbacks 9-3 on Saturday night.
”For a while it seemed like I was trying to guide the ball
every time,” Alonso said. ”Then I realized you don’t have to work
so hard to do it, just get a good swing and maybe get a single or
Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin also homered for the Padres,
who have won six in a row.
Clayton Richard (11-12) allowed three runs and seven hits over
eight innings, improving to 5-0 in seven career starts against
Arizona. He struck out four and walked two.
Richard leads the National League with 184 innings pitched.
”That tells you a couple of things,” Padres manager Bud Black
said. ”First, he’s performing to where we’re not taking him out.
And his pitch count is such to allow him to stay in. He’s not
pitch-counting himself out.”
Justin Upton celebrated his 25th birthday with his first career
inside-the-park home run and Aaron Hill also connected for the
slumping Diamondbacks, who have lost two straight and four of
Arizona is 4-9 in its last 13 home games after winning eight
straight at home in July.
”They out-executed us in every aspect of the game,”
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ”There you have it.”
Kennedy (11-11) faded in the sixth and allowed six runs on four
hits over 5 1-3 innings. He walked four, hit a batter with a pitch
and struck out six.
Alonso’s home run just over the right-field fence leading off
the fifth put San Diego ahead 3-2, and the Padres quickly added to
Everth Cabrera walked to start the sixth and was sacrificed to
second. Kennedy then walked Headley, hit Quentin in the middle of
the back with a pitch and walked Yasmani Grandal to force home
Alonso and make it 4-2.
Alonso followed with a sharp single to right, scoring Headley
and Quentin for a 6-2 lead.
”Definitely, he was struggling,” Alonso said. ”He was trying
to find the zone and I knew either I had to wait for my pitch or be
more aggressive. He threw a pitch over the plate and I got good
wood on it.”
San Diego added three more runs in the eighth against Mike
Zagurski and Brad Ziegler.
”They were putting pressure on us,” Upton said. ”It is pretty
tough to win like that. They did a great job of standing on the gas
Hill homered in the bottom of the eighth for the
Headley homered just inside the right-field foul pole with two
outs in the first to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.
After Paul Goldschmidt walked leading off the second, Upton
lofted a pitch to right-center and the ball hit just above the base
of the wall and caromed wildly back toward straightaway center.
Upton was rounding third base before Cameron Maybin could run down
the ball and slid safely across the plate with yards to spare to
put the Diamondbacks up 2-1.
”I told him it was a birthday carom,” Maybin said,
Quentin tied it with a home run onto the concourse overhanging
the center-field wall.
NOTES: Upton became the first player to hit an inside-the-park
home run on his birthday since Hall of Famer Lou Brock for St.
Louis in 1976 against the Padres. … Quentin was hit by a pitch
for the 16th time this season, setting a franchise record. …
Kennedy is tied with Dodgers RHP Joe Blanton for the NL lead with
26 home runs allowed. … Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero threw out
Cabrera trying to steal second in the third, the first such runner
thrown out by an Arizona catcher since July 22. … Upton’s
inside-the-park home run was the Diamondbacks’ second this season
and the ninth in franchise history. … RHP Edinson Volquez (8-9)
pitches Sunday for San Diego against Joe Saunders (6-10) in the
series finale. Volquez permitted one run in his last start,
snapping a streak of four straight with four or more runs allowed.
Saunders is 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in his last five starts.