The Arizona Diamondbacks wasted a golden opportunity with bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth but came away empty handed. The San Diego Padres avoided a three-game sweep at Arizona with a 6-5 victory on Thursday night after dropping the last two games to the Diamondbacks.
The Padres cycled through five pitchers in the ninth inning to try and shut the door against the D-backs and Aaron Bass sealed the victory by striking out Aaron Hill.
Chris Johnson started the rally with a leadoff single, Johnson was three for four and had two RBIs in the game. Ryan Wheeler then hit a ground ball which looked to be a routine double play but second basemen Logan Forsythe committed an error and both runners were safe. Padres closer Luke Gregerson was then pulled by manager Bud Black and the bullpen parade began for the Padres.
After Jason Kubel walked to load the bases Mike Jacobs then popped out, Adam Eaton grounded into a fielder's choice and then Aaron Hill struck out swinging to end the game. A huge disappointment for the Diamondbacks to come up with zero there and their playoffs hopes dwindle with the loss.
"You expect to at least tie the game up," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson told Tyler Emerick with MLB.com. "We had three opportunities, we were unable to do so. That part was disappointing."
The Diamondbacks fall to five and a half games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot with 13 games left. Looking at the Cardinals schedule with upcoming series against the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, Arizona playoff hopes do not look promising.
Adam Eaton had attempted a squeeze bunt with one out but was unable to get the bunt down. He then hit a sharp grounder to second base and they were able to get the lead runner on a force at home.
"I just missed it, I think it was a cutter away," Eaton said of the bunt. "But then most of the time with the infield in, you can get a ball through on a hard hit up the middle. That's what I was trying to do, it didn't work out."
The Diamondbacks got in a hole early when Jesus Guzman hit a three-run homer off of starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs in the first inning. Skaggs who won his major league debut on August 22nd has been roughed up lately going 0-3 in his next five starts.
"I wanted a fastball up, it wasn't as up as I wanted it to be, that's pretty much the moral of the story," Skaggs told MLB.com. "I didn't think it affected me, I gave up another run, but I felt like I was fine. They are a scrappy team, they fight off a lot of pitches."
Skaggs pitched five innings and allowed four runs. He settled down after the three-run homer to Guzman and pitched out of trouble a couple of times. The 21-year old has given up 14 earned runs in his last three starts over the course of just 12 innings.
Clayton Richard continues to have success in the win column against the Diamondbacks. Richard is now 6-0 in his career against the D-backs. He gave up a solo home run to Aaron Hill in the first inning after being spotted three runs by his offense in the top half of the inning. Richard improved his 2012 record to 14-12 with the win pitching six innings and scattering eight hits.
Adam Eaton hit his first career home run with two outs in the seventh inning off of Brad Brach to cut the Padres lead to one run. The Diamondbacks got two runs in the sixth inning to get them back in the game.
Justin Upton tripled in the sixth and was driven home on a single by Paul Goldschmidt. Chris Johnson then drove in Goldschmidt after he advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch by Richard.
The Diamondbacks just couldn't come through in the clutch in the ninth inning and once again fell to below .500. Perhaps their new goal of the remainder of the season should be to finish above .500 and carry momentum into the offseason.
Tags: Aaron Hill, Arizona, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baseball, Bud Black, Chicago Cubs, Chris Johnson, Clayton Richard, Houston Astros, MLB, Paul Goldschmidt, San Diego Padres