Rookies Medica, Quackenbush provide late lift
First baseman swats go-ahead homer, while reliever earns first win
PHOENIX -- You can just about measure Kevin Quackenbush's big league service time with two hands, though that doesn't mean the Padres rookie reliever doesn't already have an experienced take on how to handle yourself in the face of adversity.
"All you have," Quackenbush said, "is the next day."
The next day, as it was Tuesday, was a whole lot better than how Quackenbush's Monday ended, as he tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings to top the Padres edge the D-backs, 4-3, before a crowd of 17,862 at Chase Field.
One night earlier, Quackenbush was left to lament and deal with the residual angst following his first big league loss, when he surrendered a two-run home run to A.J. Pollock in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"It does sit poorly with you for a while," Quackenbush said. "But at the same time, you've got to realize that these things are going to happen."
Quackenbush wasn't the only rookie on the roster to come up big in the second game of a three-game series against the D-backs (21-33).
First baseman Tommy Medica -- in the starting lineup since the Padres were facing a left-handed pitcher in Wade Miley -- knocked in two runs on three hits, the biggest of which came in the eighth inning on his tiebreaking home run off reliever Evan Marshall.
"It was a slider down … and I wasn't looking for a slider down," Medica said. "But I stayed back on it and got the barrel of the bat out front and took advantage of the Arizona air."
The Padres (24-29) struck early and late, as they had a 3-1 lead after the third inning as Chris Denorfia, Chase Headley and Medica each had run-scoring singles off Miley, who didn't allow much else. Miley struck out 11 in seven innings, allowing three runs.
"I kind of let that snowball on me a little bit. I had opportunities to get out of it and just didn't. Didn't make pitches and left a few pitches up and they capitalized on it and scored three runs," Miley said.
The Padres wouldn't score again until Medica's home run, as the D-backs got a run in the sixth against starting pitcher Eric Stults, who allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. Alex Torres then gave up the tying run to score in the seventh when Gerardo Parra singled to left field.
That left the game in the hands of the bullpen, as Quackenbush responded by needing just 13 pitches for four outs. Huston Street closed the game with a scoreless ninth inning for his 15th save in as many opportunities.
San Diego manager Bud Black was asked after the game about Quackenbush, who has been added to the big league roster already five times this season. As a pitcher on the 40-man roster and with Minor League options, that goes with the territory sometimes.
"Someone asked me today on the radio how a rookie pitcher would answer a walk-off," Black said. "I think we saw it tonight. It was a good bounce back."
Quackenbush became the first Padres pitcher to earn his first big league victory and big league loss in consecutive games since Mark Lee did so on May 11-12, 1978.
"It's a dream come true," Quackenbush said, obviously referring to the first big league win.
The Padres got a huge scare in the seventh inning when Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt hit catcher Yasmani Grandal's glove hand (left) with his swing. Grandal was immediately called for catcher's interference, but that was the least of his problems.
Grandal doubled over in pain and left the game with trainer Todd Hutcheson. He first thought was not a good one.
"I was expecting them [training staff] to tell me I had a broken pinkie and a fractured knuckle," Grandal said.
But an X-ray soon thereafter came back negative and the Padres -- and Grandal -- hope he can play when the team opens a series Friday in Chicago against the White Sox.
"That's a good thing," Black said.