SAN DIEGO -- It isn't reflected in their overall record, but of all the trials and tribulations that occur during the baseball season, it's consistency that the D-backs have battled with the most.A back-and-forth affair at Petco Park on Saturday night served as perfect example, as the D-backs' offense started
SAN DIEGO -- It isn't reflected in their overall record, but of all the trials and tribulations that occur during the baseball season, it's consistency that the D-backs have battled with the most.
A back-and-forth affair at Petco Park on Saturday night served as perfect example, as the D-backs' offense started hot, fell flat and reignited, rallying past the Padres for a 9-4 victory.
The D-backs remain right on the heels of the Dodgers, 1 1/2 games back of the lead in the National League West.
Jonathan Jay -- who has battled his own fair share of inconsistency at the plate this season -- led the offensive charge, breaking a 4-4 deadlock in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run double down the right-field line off reliever Kirby Yates, putting the D-backs up, 6-4. Paul Goldschmidt drove in Jay the next at-bat with his second RBI single of the night.
"He walks up there, he gives us quality at-bats," manager Torey Lovullo said of Jay. "He's been patient, he's working counts. That's what I focus on more. Obviously the results weren't there, but he wasn't very far off. It was a really nice day for him."
It's been a tough month for Jay, who saw his July batting average dip to as low as .206. He was key to this victory, however, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs.
"I've felt much better the last couple of weeks," Jay said. "I haven't looked too much into it, I've been preaching all year [that] it's a long season. I'm just happy to have been able to contribute today."
A four-run second inning gave Arizona an early lead. They recieved a little help though, as Padres starter Tyson Ross walked the bases loaded before recording an out. RBI singles by Jeff Mathis and starter Patrick Corbin accounted for the first two runs, and Jay and Goldschmidt drove in the other two via a groundout and a single, respectively. Goldschmidt is batting .309 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in his last 25 games.
The lead was short-lived. Corbin didn't have his best stuff, and ran into trouble, being tagged for four hits (three of them doubles) and three runs in the third inning and another in the fourth after Christian Villanueva drew a leadoff walk, and Ross hit an RBI single.
"You're out in front 4-0, you feel good with Patrick on the mound," Lovullo said. "But [the Padres] are a very free-swinging team. They can clip you for quick runs."
Corbin finished the night yielding four runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out eight and walked two on 104 pitches.
After a shutdown inning from Yoshihisa Hirano, Arizona turned the contest into a blowout in the ninth, tagging a usually stellar Padres bullpen for two more runs.
Eduardo Escobar made a formidable debut with his new team on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Dubbed a "doubles machine," Escobar showed exactly why the D-backs acquired him, clubbing his league-leading 38th double in the ninth inning.
"If I hit a double every day, that's good, I'll take that every day," he said. "But the most important thing is playing hard. I'm so happy to be here and helping this team win."
HE SAID IT
"He's a key addition for us. He's a very, very good baseball player and he's going to fit right into this culture here. The start that he had was exceptional." -- Lovullo, on Escobar
Veteran Clay Buchholz will face off against Padres rookie Joey Lucchesi in the finale up of the three-game series. After being signed to a Minor League deal on May 4, Buchholz has been a success story since being called up on May 20. His durable arm, combined with his low ERA (2.38 in 45 1/3 innings) has boosted a somewhat faulty starting rotation for the D-backs. Buchholz will look to carry on from his last start, in which he yielded one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings vs. the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. MST.
Katie Woo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.