After being swept in their last series, the Arizona Diamondbacks have few things to blame other than suspect relief pitching. They'll hope the bullpen will have patched up its struggles prior to meeting the upstart San Diego Padres Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at Petco Park.
The Diamondbacks (15-13) squandered a lead in each contest while losing three straight at home to San Francisco. The bullpen gave up seven hits, seven walks and eight earned runs in six innings during the series.
Wednesday's 9-6 defeat saw Arizona score more than four runs for the first time in eight contests and also marked its major league-leading 10th blown save as David Hernandez surrendered a three-run homer in the eighth. Hernandez walked two before giving up the home run.
"This is a tough time. It's a tough game," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We just have to pick ourselves up."
Thursday marked the Diamondbacks' first off day since April 15, providing a valuable rest for the bullpen - which worked 46 2-3 innings over 16 games in as many days since then.
Heavy work for Arizona's relievers could be necessary again if left-hander Wade Miley (2-0, 2.37 ERA) produces an outing similar to his last one. Miley didn't allow a run against Colorado on Saturday but lasted 4 1-3 innings after walking a career-high seven.
He had walked seven in 26 innings over his first four starts and averages 2.3 per nine innings for his career.
"I just didn't have it tonight and that was pretty much the bottom line," said Miley, whose team still managed a 3-2 win in 10 innings.
The Diamondbacks run into a Padres squad that completed a late comeback Thursday to salvage a road split against the Cubs and post its sixth victory in eight games.
Yonder Alonso 's pinch-hit bloop single with two outs brought home the first of four runs in an eighth inning that also saw two infield singles and a passed ball, leading to a 4-2 win for the Padres (11-17).
"It's one of those things where, regardless of what the situation is with the outs or what the score is, you can always take advantage of the mental lapses that go on the field," outfielder Kyle Blanks said.
Starting for the Padres will be Jason Marquis (2-2, 4.20), who has also struggled with walks. Marquis issued four in three of his five starts, including Sunday against San Francisco. He still limited the Giants to two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings to pick up the victory.
Marquis and Miley will look to shake off recent history against each other's teams, as Marquis is 0-4 with a 6.39 ERA in his last seven starts against Arizona while Miley is 1-2 with a 6.08 ERA in four starts versus San Diego.
Nick Hundley is riding a seven-game hitting streak with six RBIs, but he's 1 for 17 over his last six against Arizona.
San Diego was the only NL West team the Diamondbacks posted a sub-.500 record against in 2012, with the Padres winning 11 of 18 meetings.
|April 27, 2013||Didi Gregorius||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|April 26, 2013||Didi Gregorius||Day-to-Day||Left game - right temple contusion|
|April 15, 2013||Aaron Hill||15-Day DL||Broken left hand|
|April 14, 2013||Aaron Hill||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hand|
|April 13, 2013||Jason Kubel||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|April 13, 2013||Jason Kubel||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|San Diego Padres|
|April 21, 2013||Kyle Blanks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder injury|
|April 20, 2013||Clayton Richard||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|April 18, 2013||Tyson Ross||15-Day DL||Left shoulder subluxation|
|April 16, 2013||Cameron Maybin||15-Day DL||Right wrist impingement|
|April 09, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist|
|March 30, 2013||Cory Luebke||60-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The new Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 deck atop the reconfigured right field wall at Petco Park provides an inviting target.
"It's nice," said Alonso, who hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Wade Miley in the fifth inning to help the Padres to a 7-6 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, San Diego's seventh win in nine games. It was Arizona's fourth straight loss.
Alsono's homer was one of 14 hits for the Padres, the second time they've had that many in three home games. Rookie Jedd Gyorko had his first three-hit game, including two doubles.
"I've sensed us starting to swing the bats better the last couple weeks," manager Bud Black said. "We've broken out a couple different times on a couple different games and it showed tonight again with double-digit hits, some good at-bats, some good walks, some hard contact along the way, a big home run, a couple big swings. I've sensed that."
With the Padres trailing 3-2, Alonso drove a 2-2 pitch from Miley (2-1) into the Jack Daniel's deck in right-center, his fourth. It probably would have been a home run even in Petco Park's old configuration. The fences were moved in 11 feet from the home run porch in the right-field corner to the gap in an attempt to make the downtown ballpark play fairer. Jesus Guzman was aboard on a grounder.
Miley was "locating pretty well early in the game," Alonso said. "I got a good fastball elevated middle in. He got me to foul some pitches inside. I wasn't catching up to it, but then I made a little adjustment."
Miley said he left a pitch up.
"I was trying to get it away and I overthrew it and it stayed middle and he did a good job of hitting it," Miley said. "I was battling a bit. You don't always feel your best every time. But I had some opportunities to get out of it."
The homer made a winner of Jason Marquis (3-2). Marquis allowed three runs and four hits in six innings, struck out five and walked five.
"Jason did his job," Black said. "He hung in there, battled and made some pitches. Actually, his last inning was his best. He's a veteran pitcher with moxie who knows how to work his way through a game."
Huston Street came on with runners on first and second and no outs in the ninth and retired two batters before allowing Gerardo Parra 's three-run homer to straightaway center, his second. Street then got Martin Prado to fly out to center for his seventh save in as many chances.
Miguel Montero homered to straightaway center field off Marquis leading off the second, his second.
San Diego took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on Gyorko's leadoff double and, with two outs, a single by Chris Denorfia and a triple by Everth Cabrera .
The Diamondbacks regained the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Eric Chavez and a run-scoring groundout by Cliff Pennington .
The Padres added on in the seventh and eighth. Guzman doubled to right-center and scored on Kyle Blanks ' single in the seventh. In the eighth, Cabrera's sacrifice bunt brought in a run and Chase Headley hit an RBI double.
Miley, who finished second to Bryce Harper in NL Rookie of the Year balloting last year, allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings, struck out four and walked three.
NOTES: Padres LF Carlos Quentin was in the original lineup but was scratched with a balky right knee. He was replaced by Jesus Guzman . ... The series continues Saturday night when Arizona's Patrick Corbin (3-0, 1.91 ERA) opposes Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.94) in a showdown of lefties. Richard is 6-0 in eight career starts against Arizona, including three wins in four starts last year. ... Before the game, Headley ran into club executive chairman Ron Fowler and explained why he doesn't want to negotiate a contract extension during the season. Headley said it's been a distraction since Fowler said on Wednesday that the club was prepared to make an offer that would make Headley the highest-paid player in club history.