Arizona slams three homers in support of Ortiz
SAN DIEGO (Ticker) --
has been a disappointment in his first year with the
. He passed on some of that misery to the
San Diego Padres
Ortiz pitched effectively into the sixth inning and
hit back-to-back homers in the decisive fourth frame as the Diamondbacks beat the National League West Division-leading Padres, 7-5, in the opener of a crucial three-game series.
After winning 99 games in his previous six years, Ortiz (5-8) has failed to give the Diamondbacks much since signing a four-year, $34 million free agent contract last winter. He spent two months on the disabled list with a rib injury and lost both of his starts since being activated.
In this one, Ortiz more closely resembled the pitcher that won 36 games the last two years with Atlanta, yielding three runs and seven hits with one walk in 5 2/3 innings. The righthander snapped a personal six-game losing streak in winning for the first time since May 18.
"Today, for the most part, I felt like if I got into a situation, I was able to make my pitch and get out of it," Ortiz said. "That's what I've been waiting for is to feel like that every pitch, and I did (tonight), so I was excited about that. Overall, I was pleased with the way things went, especially because we won."
With help from two errors by first baseman
and a mental mistake by left fielder
, the Diamondbacks broke open the game with four unearned runs in the fourth inning off
Nady failed to field a potential double-play grounder by
that could have ended the inning. Later in the inning,
hit a sacrifice fly,
belted a two-run homer, his 20th of the season, and catcher Stinnett followed with an inside-the-park homer.
"It's a play that should have been made, and we're out of the inning," Nady said. "It ended up costing us the game. Obviously, personally it's frustrating."
"When they give you extra outs, you have to take advantage," Tracy said. "(Williams) left a fastball out over the middle of the plate. I'm sure he would like to have the pitch back, that's probably not where he was trying to go with it."
Stinnett's drive to left field hit the top of the fence and bounced back in play, but left fielder Klesko thought the ball was ruled a homer and threw the ball into the stands. The umpires ruled the ball in play and Stinnett rounded the bases for his fifth homer of the season.
"Ryan can't hear us, and believe me, the whole dugout was yelling," Padres manager
said. "He jumped for the ball and I don't know if it was out or not, but the signal was no home run. He thought it was out, that's why he did what he did."
"A run is a run and I don't care if it's inside (the park) or outside," Arizona manager
Williams allowed three homers homers among four hits, but only one of the five runs was earned.
"Woody made a couple of mistakes," Bochy said. "He got the ground ball, and we just couldn't handle it. If he gets out of (the fourth), it's a different ballgame. We haven't played real crisp. We've got to tighten up on that."
added his 21st blast in the sixth as the Diamondbacks built a 6-1 lead before Klesko drilled a two-run homer in the bottom half, his first sine July 16.
With the Diamondbacks holding a 7-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth, closer
walked the first two batters before yielding a two-run double to
. But Valverde recovered to get the next three batters to preserve the win and pull the Diamondbacks within 4 1/2 games of the Padres.
Arizona has won three straight games for the first time since May 18-20.
"Three in a row, that's huge for us," Melvin said. "It feels nice to come in here and win more than just two and get a big win. That's a pretty nice start to the series."