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Iannetta, 2-out runs help D-backs sweep Padres

June 8, 2017

PHOENIX -- Chris Iannetta homered, doubled twice and drove in a career-high seven runs as the D-backs completed a three-game sweep of the Padres with a 15-3 win on Thursday afternoon at Chase Field.The D-backs trailed twice in the early innings -- a 2-0 deficit in the first and a

PHOENIX -- Chris Iannetta homered, doubled twice and drove in a career-high seven runs as the D-backs completed a three-game sweep of the Padres with a 15-3 win on Thursday afternoon at Chase Field.
The D-backs trailed twice in the early innings -- a 2-0 deficit in the first and a 3-2 hole after three -- before grabbing a 4-3 lead on Iannetta's homer in the fifth, and they blew the game open with a six-run sixth. The D-backs' first 10 runs -- scored over the first, fifth and sixth innings -- all scored after there were two outs and nobody on in each inning.
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Patrick Corbin (5-6) snapped a two-start losing streak. He allowed three runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. Padres starter Clayton Richard (4-7) allowed four runs in five innings this time around after having held the D-backs to just one run in a complete-game effort against them last month.
"Pretty offensive day, and the game turned around in a hurry," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I was really proud of what we did against a pitcher that has typically thrown very well against us and handled us well at times. I thought our guys had a really good approach. Obviously, the day was highlighted by Chris Iannetta, seven RBIs, the big home run that put us in front."

Richard exited in the top of the sixth for a pinch-hitter, having thrown just 77 pitches. Afterward, he said he felt as though only two of those offerings were true mistakes -- an RBI double in the first by Chris Owings and Iannetta's home run.
"I felt as if I threw the ball well," Richard said. "Unfortunately, the times it counted, I didn't execute a couple pitches."
Bunt and a belt: Richard retired the first two hitters of the fifth when Gregor Blanco beat out a bunt hit. That brought up Iannetta, who was hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup to start a game for just the third time, and he smoked a 2-0 offering over the wall in left to erase the one-run deficit and give the D-backs a 4-3 lead.
"He's always been a very capable offensive player," Lovullo said of Iannetta. "I think he's just in a good spot. I think he feels good about where he's at offensively, because of the things he's able to do behind the scenes to prepare for the moment. He's hit a number of big home runs. Inside of his at-bats, he's grinding, he's driving up pitch counts, he's having quality at-bats, quality moments."

Close call: Padres skipper Andy Green called on Allen Cordoba to pinch-hit for Richard in the sixth. On a 2-1 pitch, Corbin came low and inside with a fastball, forcing Cordoba to jump out of the way. At the same time, Chase d'Arnaud had broken for second base, and Iannetta came up throwing. After d'Arnaud had slid safely into second, plate umpire Tim Timmons ruled that Cordoba interfered with Iannetta's throw -- a decision Green vehemently disagreed with.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to make an interference call on a ball that almost takes my hitter's kneecaps off," Green said. "That inning changes dramatically if you tie that game. … [Timmons] thought [Cordoba] didn't make an effort to get out of the way. I said, 'Have you ever had a 94-mph fastball thrown at your kneecaps before?' It's not easy to not fall back toward home plate, because you're jumping out of the way. You really have nowhere else to go. I think they'll look at that one and realize later that it was probably a reach."
Instead, Cordoba was ruled out. The Padres wouldn't score in the frame, meaning Green's decision to dip into his bullpen early went for naught.
In order to preserve their heavily taxed bullpen, the Padres called on veteran shortstop Erick Aybar to pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning. Aybar entered with a runner on second, after Brandon Maurer faced five batters and did not record an out.
In his second appearance on the mound this season, Aybar walked the first hitter he faced before he got Brandon Drury to fly out and Jake Lamb to bounce into an inning-ending double play. In 1 1/3 innings this season, Aybar has yet to allow a hit.

"We just kind of stepped on them from there." -- Owings, on the six-run sixth
After drawing a walk to lead off the game, Jose Pirela tried to go from first to third on a bloop single to right. Owings made a strong throw from right and Pirela was ruled safe at third. The D-backs challenged the call and it was overturned, as it showed Pirela's left hand came off the base while Lamb held the tag on him.

An inning later, the Padres won a similar challenge after Nick Ahmed broke for third on a steal attempt. Catcher Austin Hedges fired to Yangervis Solarte, who quickly applied the tag. Ahmed was initially ruled safe, but the Padres challenged the call, and it was overturned.

Padres:Jhoulys Chacin has been excellent at Petco Park this season, where he's posted a 1.36 ERA and .157 batting average against. The veteran right-hander will make his sixth home start when the Padres open a three-game Interleague set against the Royals on Friday. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. PT.
D-backs: The D-backs open a three-game series with the Brewers on Friday night at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field, with right-hander Randall Delgado on the mound. Delgado shifted from the bullpen to the rotation after Taijuan Walker was placed on the DL with a blister. In three starts since, Delgado is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.