Bats give D-backs' bullpen a cushion with six-run inning

June 10th, 2024

SAN DIEGO -- Coming off two straight drubbings and using an opener on Sunday afternoon, the D-backs responded with a 9-3 victory over the Padres to earn a split of the four-game series at Petco Park.

Here are some things to know about this game and where things stand for the D-backs:

They needed this win
Yes, every game is important in a big league season, a lesson the D-backs know all too well because they made the playoffs by just a game last season before sprinting to the World Series.

But given what had transpired the past two nights, manager Torey Lovullo said Sunday’s contest carried a little extra importance.

The D-backs won the series opener but lost the next two games, 10-3 and 13-1. With starter Blake Walston on the injured list and their long relievers having been used in the blowout losses, the D-backs went with reliever Scott McGough to face the first three batters of the game before turning things over to Tommy Henry.

Saturday’s loss really left a bad taste in Lovullo’s mouth, which could explain his feeling about the win in the finale.

“I think it was in the midseason must-win category,” Lovullo said. “And I think this team came out ready to play and showed how tough they are. I’m really proud of what we did.

“Yesterday was not an easy game to sit and watch or have to play in, and these guys responded as well as I’d hoped. They made a statement from the first pitch of the game all the way through until the last pitch.”

Henry had a long day
The D-backs’ bullpen came into the series running on fumes, and it only got worse with the two blowout losses.

Henry did not get the word about his callup until late Saturday night, so he had to get up at 3:30 a.m. PT to catch a flight from Tacoma, Wash., where Triple-A Reno was playing, to get to San Diego in time for the game.

Henry allowed a pair of runs over 2 1/3 innings, but the D-backs scored six runs in the top of the second to give him plenty of room for error.

“I wish I executed a little bit better, but shout-out to the offense,” Henry said. “That made the mistakes that I made a little bit less impactful on the game. They got us off to a huge lead early, which just makes pitching and playing a lot easier.”

McCarthy had himself a day
Outfielder Jake McCarthy went 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk as he continued his resurgence at the plate.

“I just want to be a tough out,” he said. “Look at yesterday, when I hit the ball hard twice and ended up 0-for-3, but I walked. It’s just always good to see a lot of pitches regardless of what the outcome of the at-bat is.

“I’m going to control what I can control. If I can swing at good pitches, if I [don’t] chase, hopefully, the balls in play drop. The common denominator is I want to be a tough out.”

The D-backs have a chance to finally get some traction
The victory sent the D-backs into a team off-day on Monday with a good feeling in what has been somewhat of a frustrating season for them. They have been unable to put together a sustained stretch of good play.

Arizona’s longest winning streak of the year is four games, which the D-backs have done twice.

On Tuesday, the D-backs open a six-game homestand against the Angels, who are in last place in the AL West, and the White Sox, who have the worst record in baseball.