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Comeback a big confidence-builder for Padres

Down by five runs in ninth, young club battles back vs. D-backs
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- For a baseball team searching to find its identity, Saturday night's dramatic, 8-7 comeback win at Chase Field by the Padres over the D-backs could take on dynamic proportions.

San Diego trailed by five runs heading into the ninth and for the second time this season came roaring back to beat D-backs closer Fernando Rodney, who has blown six big saves this season. The Padres then fought back a furious Arizona rally in the bottom of the inning to win.

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PHOENIX -- For a baseball team searching to find its identity, Saturday night's dramatic, 8-7 comeback win at Chase Field by the Padres over the D-backs could take on dynamic proportions.

San Diego trailed by five runs heading into the ninth and for the second time this season came roaring back to beat D-backs closer Fernando Rodney, who has blown six big saves this season. The Padres then fought back a furious Arizona rally in the bottom of the inning to win.

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From baby steps do big ambitions grow.

"We haven't come back from five runs in the ninth inning this season so it's as big as it gets against a very good baseball team, too," Padres manager Andy Green said. "It's against a playoff caliber team, late in the season with a younger group of guys who have proven very resilient.

"It's fun to see that. It's fun to see a team [come] back and keep fighting all the way to the end."

Video: Must C Comeback: Padres down D-Backs with six-run 9th

The D-backs led, 7-2, and seemed on their way to winning for the 14th time in their last 15 games before the ninth inning collapse began.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo had used setup man Archie Bradley for three pitches to close out the eighth. He opted to pinch-hit for Bradley and replace him in the ninth with left-hander Andrew Chafin, who has a 3.83 ERA and has struggled of late.

Bradley has a 1.25 ERA. It proved to be a costly decision.

"We talked about it, but I didn't want to extend Archie that far," Lovullo said. "Tomorrow is a quick turnaround and I wanted to make sure he is available tomorrow, too."

The inning began innocently enough when Yangervis Solarte singled to right. Wil Myers then smacked his second two-run homer of the game, giving him 27 on the season, and suddenly the lead was cut to three and Rodney was hurriedly rushed in from the bullpen.

Video: SD@ARI: Myers hits his second two-run HR of the night

Lovullo thought Rodney was ready and unbothered by his quick entrance.

"He knew basically what the situation was and that he needed to be ready," Lovullo said. "He was ready. I don't think it snuck up on him, nor do I think he wasn't prepared because it happened so fast. I think he's always ready for those moments."

On April 26, here against the Padres, Rodney wasn't ready. He allowed five runs on six hits and recorded only two outs in the ninth inning as San Diego rallied to win, 8-5.

On Saturday evening, he struck out Cory Spangenberg and then the proverbial roof caved in. Rodney walked Jabari Blash, a .217 hitter, on a full count, and gave up a double to Austin Hedges, a .209 hitter.

The Padres dugout started to stir. In the end, it was rookie second baseman Carlos Asuaje, who tied the score with a base hit down the left-field line, the winning run scoring when David Peralta overran the ball for an error.

This time, Rodney allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with a walk, the strikeout and a wild pitch. Spangenberg was his only out.

It was a tough loss for the D-backs, and a big-time win for the Padres.

"We had a feeling we were going to come back," Myers said. "We felt like we were going to tie that game, especially with a guy like Carlos coming up. He's a guy who gives you a good at-bat almost every single time.

"It was just great to see all the guys battle, not give up and complete that comeback."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

San Diego Padres