PHOENIX -- The D-backs opened the first inning Thursday with a pair of weak groundouts. They led off the fifth with a popup and a chopper back to the mound. And they started the sixth with consecutive strikeouts.Thing is, until all three outs are on the board, the D-backs are
PHOENIX -- The D-backs opened the first inning Thursday with a pair of weak groundouts. They led off the fifth with a popup and a chopper back to the mound. And they started the sixth with consecutive strikeouts.
Thing is, until all three outs are on the board, the D-backs are always within striking distance. They proved as much in their 15-3 victory Thursday, as they completed a sweep of the slumping Padres.
Arizona scored its first 10 runs of the game in innings in which the first two hitters made outs. One night earlier, Arizona jumped ahead with a five-run third inning after starting the frame with two outs.
"I think it's just a sign of who we are," said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. "Offensively, we're very capable at any time, and we can strike in a lot of different ways. We're never out of innings, so we pride ourselves in not shutting down in key moments and key situations -- no matter who we're facing."
On the flip side, the Padres' inability to finish innings has become a bit of a worrying trend.
"It's just not good baseball, I don't think there's any other way to describe it," said manager Andy Green. "You give some credit to their guys. Their guys compete to the last out of every inning. They make you earn your outs. They don't get outside the strike zone, they don't chase."
In the first, the D-backs used three consecutive hits to push two runs across, including an RBI double by Chris Owings. In the fifth, Gregor Blanco dropped down a bunt single before Chris Iannetta crushed a poorly placed Clayton Richard changeup over the left-field fence.
That two-batter stretch would prove pivotal in the course of the game. Having fallen behind, Green was forced to pinch-hit for Richard, and the floodgates opened from there.
"It was very matter-of-fact what went wrong," Richard said afterward. "It wasn't a snowball going out of control. It was just a couple pitches and a misplayed bunt."
Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush struck out Owings and Daniel Descalso to start the sixth. But he followed by plunking Brandon Drury, walking Jake Lamb and allowing an infield hit to Nick Ahmed.
David Peralta then plated two with a pinch-hit single, and Iannetta put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing double two batters later.
"When you're playing on defense, and you're out there with two outs, you're basically waiting to go into the dugout," Owings said. "So [the two-out hitting] is just kind of putting the other team on their heels."
After the game, Green kept his focus on the Padres' inability to capitalize on their opportunities to escape. Specifically, he pointed to the infield hits in the fifth and sixth innings.
"They don't give you anything easy," Green said. "You give credit to them. At the same time, we didn't make some defensive plays when we could have. ... We don't have a big margin, so when we make those mistakes, they sting us."
With 10 two-out runs, the D-backs made certain San Diego's mistakes would sting on Thursday.
"We take advantage of those things," Lovullo said. "We see a little crack, and we plow through it."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.