SAN DIEGO -- Corbin Martin felt like he was getting closer to where he wanted to be following a bullpen session this past week, but his start against the Padres on Friday night showed there is still work to be done.
The Padres knocked Martin out of the game in the first inning, as they rolled past the D-backs, 11-5, thanks in part to three home runs by Fernando Tatis Jr.
It was Arizona’s 24th consecutive road loss, extending a Major League record it set with a defeat in San Francisco on June 17. The D-backs have lost 20 of their past 21 games and 34 of their past 37.
When Martin last pitched, he relieved Alex Young in a piggyback-type arrangement, allowing four runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on Sunday.
“Last time against the Dodgers, I made some mistakes up in the zone, so we're going to focus down in the zone. And we did a good job in my bullpen, so I think we're right there," Martin said earlier this week. "I mean, the stuff is there, so it's just believing in it at this point."
Martin was behind from the start in San Diego, as Tommy Pham and Tatis opened the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back home runs. The next five batters went: walk, single, hit-by-pitch, sacrifice fly and walk. At that point, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo went to the bullpen and brought in Riley Smith.
"He had trouble getting in a rhythm, and they kind of jumped him," Lovullo said of Martin. "He was missing with his fastball. The location, obviously, is real important. He just couldn’t get into that rhythm. He was missing out over the plate. One of those things where, unfortunately, we had to make a tough decision to get him out and try to keep that first inning under control.
"The theme for the day today was being able to place your fastball where you need it. When you do, you’re going to have very positive results, and when you don’t, you’re going to pay the consequences."
With the D-backs' rotation thin due to injuries, the question is will Martin's next outing be in the big leagues, or will he be sent back down to the Minors to continue to work on his command?
"This game is just still too raw right now," Lovullo said. "I can’t quite get that far. We’ll sit down and have some conversations as a staff and figure out the best thing moving forward for him and the rest of the group. Everybody is evaluated every single night, so we’ll figure out what’s going on."
Martin was unavailable for comment postgame, but catcher Daulton Varsho said he thought Martin was in for a good night, based on how he looked warming up.
"Down in the bullpen, he looked great," Varsho said. "It just didn’t correlate over into the game. I’m frustrated for him. Just wish he could have done a little bit better. He just left a couple of balls over the plate, and they didn’t miss them. I just couldn’t get the ball in the lower half. I know they were working on some things with him, just couldn’t get it to translate into the game today. Hopefully, he can get it figured out and get back to who he is."
Arizona’s offense tried to keep things close, scoring three runs in the second and two in the third, but San Diego hit five homers and continued to pile on runs.
The Padres' relentless attack, combined with too many poorly located pitches from D-backs pitchers, was a theme throughout the night, well after Martin had exited. San Diego scored a pair of runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to end Arizona's comeback hopes.
"We came out and I felt like we answered back in a big way a couple of times and continued to make a game of it," Lovullo said. "They kept at it, and I think we created too many run-scoring opportunities for them. They’re a good ballclub. They put the barrel on the baseball. When you have runners in scoring positions, eventually they’re going to break through.”