D-backs surge to win over Padres
Photo by Jon Willey
By Greg Dillard
The offensive fireworks started the night before in Washington. They then traveled with the D-backs back to Chase Field.
The red-hot Arizona offense, coupled with another terrific outing from rookie Josh Collmenter, propelled the D-backs to a 5-0 shutout win over the visiting Padres.
It didn’t take long for the suddenly hot-hitting lineup to get started on Friday night. The D-backs torched San Diego starter Wade LeBlanc for four runs in the opening inning.
Like he’s done all season long, Willie Bloomquist sparked a rally by drilling a leadoff double, his ninth of the year. One batter later, Bloomquist stole third and later scored thanks to catcher Nick Hundley’s throwing error.
Just two batters into the evening and the D-backs already held a lead.
“We came out very aggressive and ended up stealing four bags tonight,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “We forced some action on them, got three errors and we scored five runs in the first two innings. So we like that if it’s available.”
Justin Upton’s standout summer continued with his 36th double of the season. Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt then followed with singles. With Goldschmidt on third, new D-back Aaron Hill rocketed an RBI double in his first at-bat as a D-back at Chase Field.
Arizona tacked on another run in the second frame when Collmenter scored on yet another Padre error.
That’s all the scoring the D-backs would need behind their starter. Collmenter settled in and delivered 5 1/3 shutout innings. The right-hander scattered six hits while striking out four and not walking a single batter. It was the fifth time this season in which he did not walk a batter in a start.
“I felt good,” Collmenter said. “I had a lot of things working for me. I probably wasn’t as efficient with my pitches as I wanted to be to be able to pitch deeper into a game. Everything felt good, and I had good command and was able to work in and out.”
Collmenter was thrilled to be supplied with a multi-run lead early in the game.
“Anytime you can get a couple runs before you go back out there for the second is huge,” Collmenter said. “A lot of times just one run makes the difference. It helps your confidence, and you don’t have to be as fine. You don’t have to think you can’t give up hits or even runs.”
With his win on Friday night, Collmenter is now 8-8 this season with a 3.19 ERA. He’s also pitched five or more innings in four consecutive starts.
“Josh pitched two exceptional games,” Gibson said. “One in Philly and one in Atlanta, and he didn’t have as good of stuff tonight. But he didn’t walk anybody and struck out six. He went as far as we needed him to go.”
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