D-backs salvage finale vs. Padres
PHOENIX — There is no closer controversy in Arizona. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo made clear Sunday. However, he does have a second reliever capable of shutdown saves.
With Fernando Rodney given a day off, Archie Bradley struck out the side on 12 pitches in the ninth inning for his first career save to preserve a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres at Chase Field.
J.D. Martinez hit two bases-empty homers, and Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot on his 30th birthday to help Robbie Ray earn his fourth consecutive victory.
“Since you’ve been in the ‘pen, you think about things you hadn’t done in the big leagues yet, and I hadn’t had a big league save yet,” said Bradley, who was moved to the bullpen this spring and has become the primary setup man.
“I just tried to approach it like the eighth inning. Keep the same mentality. Attack. Throw the ball the way you have all year long. As cliche as it sounds, the biggest picture is, we won.”
Martinez’s homer with one out in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and make a winner of Ray (13-5), who has given up four earned runs in four starts since returning from a concussion.
In the ninth, Bradley got the first two batters on 98 mph fastballs and the last on a breaking ball as the Diamondbacks (83-60) broke a two-game losing streak after winning the previous 13.
Bradley has 22 holds, often pitching the eighth inning before Rodney closes. Rodney has 36 saves in 42 chances, and he threw 28 pitches while failing to hold a three-run lead in the ninth inning of an 8-7 loss to the Padres on Saturday.
“Rodney is our guy, that’s the one thing I want everybody to know,” Bradley said. “We believe in Rodney. I believe in Rodney, maybe more than anyone in the world.”
Martinez has a career-high 37 homers this season, including 21 in 45 games since joining the Diamondbacks in a July 18 trade with the Detroit Tigers. He will become a free agent this winter.
“Every homer he’s getting more expensive,” Bradley said. “Hopefully, he likes it a lot and wants to stay here.”
Martinez became the second-fastest player modern history to reach 20 home runs with a new team, according to STATS. Current Padres bench coach Mark McGwire did it in 42 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.
Martinez has seven career multi-homer games, four with Arizona, all since July 26.
“We keep saying, ‘Great trade,’” Lovullo said. “We already know that. That’s a given. He’s carried us and helped us win a number of games. He’s come more than advertised.”
Jose Pirela doubled and scored a run for the Padres (65-79), who had a three-game winning streak broken.
“We were in all three,” San Diego manager Andy Green said. “You win two of them you have to walk away pleased with that fact, but you always like to win the third one.”
San Diego right-hander Luis Perdomo (7-10) gave up five hits and three runs, all on bases-empty homers, in six innings. He struck out four and walked two. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his past 10 starts.
Ray ranks fifth among NL qualifiers with a 2.81 ERA despite missing 26 days after being struck in the head by a line drive in St. Louis on July 28. He has 144 innings, one more than necessary. He will fall out of rankings again before his next start.
San Diego’s Jabari Blash doubled to open the top of the second inning and scored on Luis Torrens’ one-out single to center field. Torrens’ liner just got over the head of Ray, who ducked to get out of the way.
Martinez homered to open the second inning, tying the score at 1, and Goldschmidt went deep with one out in the fourth inning for a 2-1 lead.
Pirela doubled to open the sixth inning, took third on a one-out wild pitch and scored on Yangervis Solarte’s sacrifice fly to tie it at 2.
NOTES: Arizona purchased the contract of 1B Christian Walker from Triple-A Reno and placed RHP Randall Delgado (flexor tendon) on the 60-day disabled list. Walker was the MVP of the Pacific Coast League with 32 homers and 114 RBIs. ... Padres 1B Wil Myers set a franchise season record with his 161st strikeout in the first inning. He ended the game with 162. Myers had 160 last year.