D-backs win HR battle to trim magic number

September 21st, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Home runs are up across the Majors this season. But even by the lofty standards set in 2017, Wednesday was a banner night for the long ball at Petco Park, as the D-backs snapped a three-game losing streak and inched closer to a postseason spot with a 13-7 victory over the Padres.

The two clubs combined for nine home runs -- three of which came off the bat of Padres rookie right fielder -- to break the Petco Park single-game record. In the process, Arizona increased its lead over Colorado to 5 1/2 games in the race for the first Wild Card spot. After Milwaukee's loss, the D-backs' magic number to clinch a postseason spot sits at four as they head home for a six-game homestand.

"In all seriousness, it's a big win," D-backs reliever said. "To not get swept, going home with an off-day and hopefully finish these last six the way we want to and get things rolling and start playing the way we want to heading into hopefully a home Wild Card Game."

Peralta set the tone for the night right away with a leadoff homer, and , A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez went deep as well. Martinez's two-run blast tied the game in the top of the sixth.

"I never count us out," Bradley said. "I know we're one big inning, we're one walk and a blast away. Especially when we've got a guy like J.D. Martinez just hitting homers left and right. To have a guy like that in our lineup behind Goldy [] and just constantly provide that big hit we need is just something that we're going to count on in postseason."

The Padres, meanwhile, hit five long balls, as they shattered their single-season club record of 177, set last season. They now have 181. Renfroe, whose 24 home runs equaled Nate Colbert's franchise rookie record, is the first Padre to hit three homers in a game since Phil Nevin in 2001. He's also the first San Diego rookie to do so.

"Obviously, this is a really cool moment," said Renfroe, who has four homers since he rejoined the club Monday after a month at Triple-A. "Hope to do it again."

Career Minor Leaguers and also went deep, following Monday callups. They became the second pair of Padres teammates to notch their first career home runs in the same game, joining Sandy Alomar Jr. and Phil Stephenson, who did so in 1989.


No stopping J.D.: Padres right-hander was sharp over five innings, allowing only solo homers to Peralta and Lamb. He entered the sixth with a four-run lead, but allowed the first three men to reach base. After Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly, Martinez smacked an opposite-field two-run shot, tying the game at 6. It was Martinez's 41st homer of the season and his 25th since joining the D-backs, the most by a player who made his debut with a new club in July.

"I've never seen the ball fly like it's flying here tonight," Martinez said. "That's one of those things that kind of took me aback a little bit."

Padres' Arch nemesis: Not only was Bradley excellent over 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, the D-backs right-hander also got in on the fun offensively. With two on and two out in the eighth, he lined a rocket to straightaway center field. One run scored on the hit, and another came across after center fielder allowed the ball to skip past him and to the wall. Bradley ended up on third.


"I think the game has adapted. Pitchers are always ahead of hitters and I think hitters are starting to catch up to the pitchers in the sense that you don't see too many sinker guys anymore. Everyone wants to throw a four-seam [fastball] and everyone wants to throw the ball up, and if you throw the ball up, that ball's going to get hit. So I think the game has kind of adjusted a little bit and hitters have made the adjustment and learned that the ball in the air is more valuable than the ball on the ground." -- Martinez, on the record number of homers in the Majors this year


Gale and Villanueva had each spent eight seasons in the Minor Leagues -- making Wednesday's home runs especially sweet.

"You want to be able to celebrate the moment that these guys have literally dreamt about their entire life," said Padres manager Andy Green. "In both of their cases, they've worked a really long time in the Minor Leagues to get here, to have the opportunity. ... I really wish we'd won the game for those guys."

Strangely enough, Villanueva's homer came while he was using Gale's bat -- and Gale's homer came while he used the bat of Minor League teammate Nick Buss. That blast took place moments after Villanueva had notched his first hit on a second-inning bloop into center field.

Gale then ended a nine-pitch battle by launching a full-count offering from D-backs starter Robbie Ray off the facing of the Western Metal Building. From there, he struggled to contain his excitement. His grin broke into a fully open-mouthed smile as he rounded first base.

"It was awesome," Gale said. "I couldn't believe how much joy I felt in that moment. … I think I was kind of screeching. I'm glad I didn't have a microphone on me. It was a long at-bat, and I was just enjoying the moment."


The Padres have 85 homers at Petco Park this year, the most since the stadium opened in 2004. The club record for home dingers came in 1992 and '93 when they launched 87 jacks in consecutive seasons at Qualcomm Stadium.


The homer total could've easily ranged into double figures, if not for a second-inning replay review. Chris Herrmann's line drive down the right-field line was initially called a double. After a conversation among umpires, that ruling was switched to a home run. But replays confirmed that the ball had ricocheted off a fence just to the right of the pole, and the ball was ruled foul. Herrmann later popped to center, ending the frame.


D-backs: After a scheduled off-day Thursday, the D-backs open a three-game series with the Marlins on Friday night at Chase Field. Zack Greinke will start for the D-backs, and the right-hander has been on a roll of late, going 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA over his last six games. He has been dominant at home this year with a 13-1 record and 2.33 ERA in 17 starts.

Padres:, fresh off signing a two-year contract extension that will keep him in San Diego through 2019, gets the ball Thursday night as the Padres welcome the Rockies for a four-game set. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. PT, with the Friars looking to play spoiler to the Rockies' NL Wild Card hopes.

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