SAN DIEGO -- In the best start of his young career, Robbie Ray was nearly untouchable Saturday night, leading the D-backs to a 2-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.Ray set a career-high with 13 strikeouts over seven frames, while allowing just one hit -- a fifth-inning home run
SAN DIEGO -- In the best start of his young career, Robbie Ray was nearly untouchable Saturday night, leading the D-backs to a 2-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.
Ray set a career-high with 13 strikeouts over seven frames, while allowing just one hit -- a fifth-inning home run by Padres debutant Patrick Kivlehan.
"I was working really well in the bullpen before the game and everything was really downhill and working for me so I knew that today was going to be a pretty good day," Ray said. "It was just a matter of executing."
• Ray commands fastball, builds confidence
If not for Kivlehan's fifth-inning blast, Ray could have potentially flirted with history. His stuff was certainly good enough. Instead, Kivlehan became the fifth Padre in history to go deep in his first big league game -- and the first since Tommy Medica did so in 2013.
"It's definitely something to remember," Kivlehan said. "You know, definitely a great start. Kind of wish the ending would have been a little better, but all in all, a great night."
Padres left-hander Clayton Richard matched Ray's pitching prowess -- only to be let down by his inability to field his position. Richard's two throwing errors allowed a pair of unearned runs to score. Otherwise, he tossed six innings of two-hit ball without an earned run.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double trouble: The D-backs had chances to tack on more runs against Richard, but double plays hampered their efforts. Arizona grounded into four double plays in four straight innings from the fourth through the seventh.
"You've got to give their pitcher [credit]," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Richard did a really good job. Kept the ball down, he obviously had some nasty movement. Thank God we were able to get some breaks with the errors. The guys were hustling and made the guy throw it away."
Welcome to the show, kid: Kivlehan made certain his first big league hit wasn't a cheapie. The 464-moonshot ricocheted off the wall behind the second deck in left field, making it the second-longest homer by a Padre during the Statcast™ era. Only Melvin Upton Jr.'s 465-foot dinger on June 28 had a greater projected distance.
"That's a pretty sweet moment," Padres manager Andy Green said. "The guy's dreamed about doing that his whole life. And his first, he hits  feet in the big leagues. That's really special for him, and it's something he should never forget. I'm sure he won't." More >
Great escape: It looked as if the Arizona bullpen was on the verge of another collapse when the Padres loaded the bases against Jake Barrett and Steve Hathaway with no outs in the eighth, while clinging to a 2-1 lead. Daniel Hudson, though, came on and got Alexei Ramirez, Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte to pop out to strand the bases full.
"I was just trying to pick [the other relievers] up and pick Robbie up and try to limit the damage as much as possible," Hudson said. "It's a situation you don't expect to get out of there without giving up any, and luckily I was able to make some pitches and get some weak contact, which is what I was going for."
Can't handle the comebacker: Richard's two blemishes came of his own volition. The left-hander has struggled to field his position throughout his career, and that came back to bite him again Saturday. Richard's 24 career errors pitcher are seventh among active pitchers -- and all six hurlers above him have thrown at least twice as many innings.
"I was not athletic today, let myself stand up, get out of rhythm and my feet get out of line," Richard said. "So it's something to work on, and it's really just a frustrating thing that can't happen. We'll correct it and move forward."
Added Green: "I know he's going to be fixated on those two throws, but I thought he had a great outing."
WEEKS JR. INJURED
D-backs outfielder Rickie Weeks Jr. was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning after twisting his right ankle while running the bases. The team said Weeks sustained a mild sprain and would be evaluated Sunday.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kivlehan is the 10th player in franchise history to record a pair of hits in his debut. (He added a single in the eighth inning.) Travis Jankowski, the man standing next to Kivlehan in center field, was the last Friar to do so. But among the previous nine, none had homered, making Kivlehan the first Padre in history to homer and record two hits in his first big league game.
Jean Segura led off the sixth with a bouncer to third baseman Solarte, who threw wide to first baseman Myers. The play was ruled an error, but after a challenge from Green, replay confirmed that Myers was able to keep his foot on the bag and the call was overturned.
D-backs:Braden Shipley will make the sixth start of his big league career Sunday afternoon in the series finale against the Padres beginning at 1:40 p.m. MST. Shipley made his Major League debut July 25 in Milwaukee. He struggled in his last start, allowing seven runs (six earned) in five innings against the Mets.
Padres: Right-hander Luis Perdomo carries his league-leading 59 percent ground-ball rate into Sunday's start against Arizona, with first pitch slated for 1:40 p.m. PT. After a very solid July, Perdomo has hit a bit of a snag in August, and the Padres have lost all three of his starts.
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.