Wood leads Padres past Diamondbacks
SAN DIEGO — In his two previous starts leading up to Tuesday night, San Diego Padres left-hander Travis Wood allowed 16 runs (15 earned) on 16 hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
When Wood gave up a game-opening homer to Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock on the fifth pitch of the Tuesday game, there was some squirming at Petco Park.
But Wood not only reversed course on the mound — the only other run he allowed over six innings was a second solo homer by Pollock in the sixth — he also delivered a two-out, two-run single to lead the Padres to a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks.
“I felt good tonight,” said Wood. “So after Pollock’s (first) homer, I told myself, ‘Lock it back in.’”
He did, allowing only three hits and two walks overall while the Padres’ infield was turning three double plays behind him.
“I had better location, I kept the ball down,” said Wood, who got 10 ground-ball outs while improving to 3-3 with San Diego. He lowered his ERA in 10 Padres starts from 6.70 to 6.23.
“I thought there was a crispness to his stuff that wasn’t there his last couple starts,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He threw a split-finger fastball that he doesn’t normally throw.”
Wood also won an eight-pitch battle with Arizona starter Zack Godley, delivering a two-run single that capped a three-run third and gave the Padres a 5-1 lead. San Diego defeated Arizona for a second straight night and for the fourth time in the clubs’ past five meetings.
“I know how frustrating that is to give up a hit on the eighth pitch of an at-bat,” said Wood, who fouled off four pitches before lining his bases-loaded single to left-center.
Godley said, “Wood’s really a good hitter. He proved that when he was with the Cubs. He’s a good hitter, that’s for sure. We approached him that way.”
In fact, Godley (8-8) started Wood off with a breaking ball.
Padres relievers Phil Maton and Buddy Baumann each struck out one during a perfect inning following Wood. Pollock opened the ninth with his third hit, a double off left-hander Jose Torres, who then retired the next three Diamondbacks to complete the four-hitter.
Over the past two nights, Padres relievers have worked 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Arizona, extending the San Diego bullpen’s scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks’ lead over the Rockies in the race for the top National League wild card remained 4 1/2 games when Colorado also lost Tuesday.
Pollock wasted no time giving the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead. The leadoff hitter a Wood delivery 422 feet for his second game-opening homer of the season.
“I feel good about my at-bats,” Pollock said of the second multiple-homer game of his career. “But I’d love to get the win here ... obviously that’s number one. We’ve got to get back at it tomorrow.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, “A.J. really had a nice day. He capitalized on some mistakes up and out over the plate. I just thought Zack never really got into a rhythm on the mound. He was grinding away at things.”
The Padres responded with two runs in the first and a total of five unanswered runs before the Diamondbacks scored with one out in the sixth as Pollock hit his second homer of the game and 12th of the season.
Manuel Margot, Carlos Asuaje and Wil Myers opened the bottom of the first with singles, Myers’ drive off the wall in left plating Margot. Asuaje then scored on Yangervis Solarte’s sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-1.
Myers, who likely cost the Padres a run in the first by not reaching second in his drive off the wall, hustled his way to a run while leading off the Padres three-run third.
The first baseman legged a short single to right into a double, then scored on Solarte’s single to left. Cory Spangenberg followed with a single and both he and Solarte advanced when Travis Jankowski struck out on a wild pitch. Wood then hit the two-run single.
Godley allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings.
The Padres answered Pollock’s second homer with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Margot drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch by reliever Jake Barrett and scored on Asuaje’s second single of the game.
Margot, Asuaje and Myers — the top three hitters in the San Diego order — all had three hits.
NOTES: The injured fingers on the left hand of Jose Pirela kept the utility man out of his seventh straight start. San Diego manager Andy Green said Pirela could be shut down for the rest of the season if the situation doesn’t improve soon. Pirela hit in the indoor cages Tuesday. ... OF Travis Jankowski made his first start for the Padres since April 22 on Tuesday. That was the night he fractured a bone in his right foot. After a lengthy stint on the disabled list, Jankowski finished the Pacific Coast League season with Triple-A El Paso. ... Arizona LF David Peralta didn’t play Tuesday after leaving Monday night’s game with a tight quad. He was available to pinch-hit and is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday. ... SS Chris Owings could rejoin the Diamondbacks for the season-ending series against the Royals. Owings, who has been on the disabled list since July 31 with a fractured right middle finger, will be re-examined on Friday.