Wed, Jun 29, 2022 1:21 AM
By JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona had two batters hit by pitches with the bases loaded in the same game for the first time in team history — in consecutive plate appearances, no less.
San Diego escaped a big jam, thanks in large part to a double play that went from the second baseman to catcher to shortstop.
A night of bizarre sequences ended with the most peculiar yet: a runner scoring from second on a squibber to the right side.
Josh Rojas scored the winning run in the ninth inning when shortstop C.J. Abrams couldn't handle a throw at second base, and the Diamondbacks rallied from a late six-run deficit to beat the Padres 7-6 on Tuesday.
“You can’t make up some of the things that I saw today,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “We took advantage of a lot of key situations and won a baseball game, and I’m excited for these guys. They were excited. It was fun to be out there on the field watching that celebration.”
Arizona trailed 6-0 after six innings, but scored four in the seventh and tied it with two more in the eighth.
Mark Melancon (3-6) stranded a runner at third in the ninth inning after a leadoff walk and two wild pitches, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
Taylor Rogers (0-4) got the first two outs in the bottom half, but gave up singles to Rojas and Ketel Marte. Christian Walker then hit a soft, spinning grounder to the right side that was scooped up by first baseman Eric Hosmer, who threw to second trying to get Marte. He slid hard into the bag, jarring the ball from Abrams' grasp, and Rojas dove headfirst into home plate to set off a wild celebration.
“I definitely drew up something to help the team for sure, but just squeaked it by barely,” Walker said. “Tough pitcher, tough at-bat with a good slider and just trying to keep it simple. Got lucky for sure.”
It didn't look good for the Diamondbacks early.
Arizona struggled against Sean Manaea — one infield single — and San Diego seemed to be in control after scoring six runs off Zac Gallen in the fifth. Jorge Alfaro hit a three-run double and Nomar Mazara had a two-run homer.
Leading 6-0, Padres manager Bob Melvin decided to send Manaea back out for the seventh.
The move backfired.
Bobby Kennedy chased the left-hander with a two-run double and Carson Kelly followed with a run-scoring double off Tim Hill. Alek Thomas cut San Diego's lead to 6-4 with an RBI groundout.
Arizona loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and Luis Garcia hit Kennedy with a pitch to force in a run. Another hit batter tied the game, but San Diego turned a home-to-second double play and Rogers struck out Thomas to end the inning.
“He was rolling along pretty good,” Melvin said of Manaea. “If I could do it over again, I probably would have taken him out after the second hitter in the inning, not the third.”
Manaea and Gallen pitched against each other last week with similar lines: two runs on four hits in six innings.
They got off to a similar parallel start Tuesday night, inducing weak groundouts and lazy popups through the first four innings.
Gallen flinched first, giving up six runs in the fifth. He allowed six runs and seven hits.
“Zac didn’t have his best stuff today,” Lovullo said. “I thought he was very effective early and then in that six-run inning, I just think he was making mistakes and just couldn’t seem to catch his breath.”
Manaea dominated the Diamondbacks most of the night, pitching six scoreless inning. He wasn’t sharp in the seventh after Melvin opted to leave him in, and gave up three runs and three hits in six-plus innings.
Padres: 3B Manny Machado ran the bases and fielded grounders before the game as he nears a return from a sprained left ankle
Diamondbacks: RHP Zach Davies was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 26, due to right shoulder inflammation. He is 2-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 15 starts this season. Arizona recalled RHP Sean Poppen from Triple-A Reno and must decide what to do about Davies' spot in the rotation.
Arizona LHP Madison Bumgarner has allowed two runs or less in six of seven home games heading into Wednesday's start against San Diego RHP Mike Clevinger.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports