Saturday, April 16, 2016

D-backs steal a run in ninth to top Padres

 Brad Ziegler pitched out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the bottom of the ninth by striking out Alexi Amarista and getting Jon Jay to hit into a double play as he nailed down the D-backs' 3-2 win over the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.
"Relief, for sure," Ziegler said when asked his emotions after the double play. "I tried to just keep focused because I knew with the defense I had behind me, all I had to do was get the ball on the ground, hopefully it's at somebody and if it is, they're going to turn it."
Both team's aces -- Zack Greinke for the D-backs and James Shields for Padres -- were locked into a pitcher's duel for much of the game. The D-backs took a 1-0 lead on aWelington Castillo homer in the second, but the Padres answered in the bottom half of the frame with Alexei Ramirez's RBI single and took a 2-1 lead on Amarista's RBI single in the fourth.
The D-backs tied the game in the seventh on Nick Ahmed's RBI double down the right-field line that barely stayed fair. Arizona then scored the game winner in the ninth without hitting the ball out of the infield as Lamb singled to short, stole second and moved to third where he scored on a tapper by Phil Gosselin that was fielded by first baseman Wil Myers, whose throw home was late.
Fortune smiled on them: Lamb beat the shift with his infield single to short in the ninth, but he was not trying to do that, the pitch hit off the end of his bat. Then on his steal of second, the throw sailed into center allowing him to go to third and he was only able to score because he was running on contact on Gosselin's dribbler.
"It's not the pretty way," Lamb said. "But it's a run and we needed a run in that situation and it ended up being the winning run so it was big."
Put it on the board: The Padres doubled the run output from their previous three games when Amarista drove in Derek Norris with his fourth-inning single, giving San Diego a 2-1 advantage. Amarista, who had two hits, has swung a hot bat since being summoned from Triple-A El Paso on Sunday.
Improvement: After not pitching well in his first two starts of the year, Greinke showed flashes of his old self. Though he still missed some spots and appeared frustrated at times, Greinke managed to allow just two runs over 7 1/3 innings. Greinke had some nervous moments after he left the game watching Daniel Hudson work out of a jam in the eighth and Ziegler do likewise in the ninth. More >
"Two really tough situations, especially Ziegler's," Greinke said. "It worked out, but it wasn't easy."
Alexei answers back: It took the Padres 28 1/3 innings but they finally scored a run this season at Petco Park on Ramirez's second-inning single which allowed San Diego to tie the score, 1-1. Melvin Upton Jr., was cut down at the plate earlier in the inning to keep the scoreless streak alive.
"I'm not too big into moral victories, personally. The job is to win baseball games.'' -- Padres manager Andy Green, on the offense improving in Friday's loss
Upton was called out attempting to steal third base in the second inning, but the call was overturned after the Padres issued a challenge. Upton was later cut down at the plate onCory Spangenberg's grounder to first, but the aggressive play led to San Diego's first run at Petco Park this season. Spangenberg was able to reach second while Upton was in the rundown, and that allowed him to scamper home on Ramirez's single one batter later.
D-backs: Shelby Miller (0-1, 8.18 ERA) will get the start for the D-backs on Saturday night as the series continues at Petco Park beginning at 5:40 p.m. MST. Miller is still looking for his first win in an Arizona uniform after coming over from Atlanta in a five-player deal in December. .
PADRES: Andrew Cashner (0-1, 8.00 ERA) seeks his first win of the season on Saturday in the second outing of this three-game series, with first pitch at 5:40 p.m. PT. Cashner is making his second start this year at Petco Park, after allowing five runs in four innings in a 7-0 loss to the Dodgers on April 6.

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