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D-backs walk off, push past Padres in finale

October 2, 2016

PHOENIX -- One out away from going to extra innings on the final day of the season, Phil Gosselin hit a walk-off RBI single to lift the D-backs to a 3-2 win over the Padres at Chase Field. With the victory on Sunday, Arizona finished fourth in the National League

PHOENIX -- One out away from going to extra innings on the final day of the season, Phil Gosselin hit a walk-off RBI single to lift the D-backs to a 3-2 win over the Padres at Chase Field. With the victory on Sunday, Arizona finished fourth in the National League West and completed a three-game sweep to end the year.
Tuffy Gosewisch hit a two-out double, setting the stage for Gosselin to pinch-hit. The Arizona utility man then hit a knock to center off San Diego reliever Brad Hand (4-4) to score pinch-runner Sócrates Brito easily from second.
"The guys performed, they battled," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It's not easy, especially the last day, guys' minds are going everywhere. For them to really bear down and even in a close game, to keep fighting and make plays, make pitches and get big hits, it was very exciting to get the three wins. It was something we talked about on Friday, about [how] we have a chance to move in front of these guys, let's see if we can do it. And they did it; mission accomplished in these last three."
The Padres finished in last place in the NL West for the first time since 2011 after finishing in fourth each of the past two years.
Both teams' starters posted quality outings to end the year. Arizona's Matt Koch gave up one run on five hits over six innings. San Diego's Paul Clemens allowed one run on four hits over a season-high six innings, with two walks and a career-high seven strikeouts.

Clemens, a midseason waiver claim from Miami, struggled mightily in his first few starts for the Padres, but he capped the year with a 0.83 ERA over his final four outings. With his strong month, Clemens thrust himself squarely into the discussion for a starting job next season.
"He's definitely in the mix going into Spring Training," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I don't know how big that mix is going to be. But I'm sure we'll add some pieces, some guys will come in, compete for spots. ... Paul's right in the mix. He's earned being right in the mix based on the way he's pitched the last three or four times out."
Koch in the mix?: This week, Koch received the first two starts of his career after Zack Greinke experienced shoulder tightness after his last outing. Koch made the most of the opportunity, perhaps adding his name to the mix of pitchers that will be considered for a rotation spot next season. The right-hander allowed three runs over 11 innings in starts against the Nationals and Padres.
"Kochy did an unbelievable job. The blister finally got him there toward the end, it started getting hot," Hale said. "But he probably could've kept going. His pitches looked good, he did a nice job."

Wil of the people: Perhaps more than anything else, Wil Myers was proudest of his ability to remain healthy through Game 162, after wrist injuries curtailed each of his past two seasons. Myers made the final game count, too, as he doubled and singled in his first two at-bats. The All-Star first baseman finished with a career-high 675 plate appearances and a .259/.336/.462 slash line.
Drury finishes rookie year strong: D-backs left fielder Brandon Drury had an impressive rookie season, especially in the second half. He went 3-for-4 in his final game, tying it at 2 in the eighth with a solo homer, his 16th blast of the year.

"That was textbook hitting," Hale said.
"We know what the ultimate goal is, and it wasn't all predicated on winning today. No one's got their head down. Everyone's got their head up and looking forward." -- Clemens
The Padres and D-backs entered Sunday's game with identical 68-93 records and within one game of four other opponents -- which, of course, was very relevant for Draft purposes.
The winner of the game was guaranteed the seventh overall pick next June, and that went to Arizona after Gosselin's walk-off single.
Meanwhile, the Padres benefited from wins by the A's, Braves and Rays and jumped all the way to third in the Draft order. They will pick behind Minnesota and Cincinnati.
Hale won a review to preserve a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth. With one out, Ryan Schimpf hit a long fly ball to right that was initially called a homer by first-base umpire Ron Kulpa. After the review, it was ruled to be foul. Schimpf went on to strike out against Arizona reliever Daniel Hudson.

"I really couldn't see much," Schimpf said. "[I was] hoping he called it fair, but the replay showed it was foul. It's tough, but you've got to get back in the box and try to put together a good at-bat, and he got me right there."
The Padres were on the wrong end of another challenge in the bottom of the frame, when they queried whether Gosewich had missed first base on his two-out double. He didn't impact the bag squarely, but it appeared his foot grazed in on his way by.
"It looked to the naked eye like he missed the base," Green said. "It was close enough to take a look at that. Obviously, he didn't even step on the base, but it looked like the side of his foot rubbed up against it."

Jake Rill is an associate reporter for

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