Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt: Gets on base five times

Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt: Gets on base five times

Goldschmidt went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run, two runs and three walks in Arizona’s 9-4 victory over San Diego on Friday.

It was an active day for the first baseman, who reached base in all five of his at-bats thanks to the three free passes and was also able to add his 28th long ball of the season with a first-inning blast off Joey Lucchesi. He got off to a slow start this season, but Goldschmidt’s .287/.393/.541 slash line through 460 at-bats looks like the stellar numbers he’s become known for throughout his career. If there’s anything disappointing about his campaign to this point, it’s that he only has five stolen bases after posting no fewer than 18 in any of the past three seasons.

More News
Diamondbacks' Eduardo Escobar: Swats 18th homer

Diamondbacks' Eduardo Escobar: Swats 18th homer

Escobar went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a pair of walks and three runs scored in the Diamondbacks‘ 9-4 win over the Padres on Friday.

The 29-year-old infielder has carried his hot-hitting ways right over to his new team, and he stroked his 18th long ball of the season in this contest with an eighth-inning solo blast off Jose Castillo. He’s been stacking extra-base hits all season in split duty between Minnesota and Arizona, as Escobar also has a whopping 42 doubles and three triples over his 429 at-bats, which has contributed to a .515 slugging percentage that would represent a career-best mark if he can keep it up.

More News
Diamondbacks aim to stay perfect in San Diego

Diamondbacks aim to stay perfect in San Diego

SAN DIEGO — Padres left-hander Clayton Richard has pitched 1,230 2/3 innings in his career with a 4.41 earned run average and a 68-78 record.

But the 34-year-old veteran is a bit of a different beast when he’s pitching at Petco Park in San Diego.

Richard has a 32-29 career record at Petco Park with a 3.28 ERA in 513 1/3 innings. This season, Richard is 2-3 on the Padres’ home turf with a 3.59 ERA in 11 starts. Opposing batters have hit .242 against Richard at Petco Park compared to .258 on the road. And he has a 1.18 WHIP at Petco Park compared to a 1.46 WHIP on the road, where his ERA is 6.28.

Saturday night Richard will be testing his prowess at Petco Park against another element that is performing very well in San Diego — the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In fact, Arizona hasn’t lost yet this season at Petco Park, winning a fifth straight game at that venue Friday night with five more to play on the 2018 schedule.

Overall, the Diamondbacks are 9-3 against the Padres this season and halfway to a sweep of a four-game series the Padres set aside last winter to celebrate Trevor Hoffman’s induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Before Saturday night’s game, the Padres will unveil a statue of the first closer to reach the 500- and 600-save plateaus.

Enter Richard, who is 7-10 with a 4.98 ERA for the season. He’s the best bet to stop the Padres’ latest five-game losing streak.

The 6-foot-5 left-hander will be making his third start of the season against Arizona as he faces right-hander Zack Godley, who has a 13-6 record and a 4.20 ERA.

Thus far, Richard has struggled against the Diamondbacks in 2018, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. In each of those starts, Richard gave up three runs on five hits in five innings. But each of those starts was made in Arizona.

When Richard faced the Diamondbacks in San Diego last year, he went 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA — giving up two earned runs in 15 2/3 innings. During his career, Richard has a 10-6 record with a 4.20 ERA in 19 starts against the Diamondbacks. The Padres are 12-7 in those games.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Godley is 2-0 against the Padres in three games (two starts) this season. He has allowed three runs on 11 hits and three walks with 17 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. But all three of those outings were in Arizona. Saturday will be his first appearance of the season at Petco Park.

Overall, the 28-year-old has a career 3-3 record against the Padres with a 4.66 ERA in 12 games (eight starts). He has given up 25 runs on 52 hits and 16 walks with 49 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.

Godley is tied for second in the National League in wins and has allowed 72 runs (64 earned) on 133 hits and 61 walks with 143 strikeouts in 137 innings for a .254 opponents’ batting average and a 1.42 WHIP. He ranks 10th among National League pitchers in strikeouts.

Godley is 7-4 on the road in 13 starts this season despite a 5.06 ERA, a .270 opponents’ batting average and a 1.60 WHIP.

Goldschmidt homers, Diamondbacks beat Padres 9-4

Goldschmidt homers, Diamondbacks beat Padres 9-4

View photos

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt, right, is greeted by Eduardo Escobar after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run, Steven Souza Jr. drove in three and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 9-4 on Friday night.

Goldschmidt drove the first pitch he saw from left-hander Joey Lucchesi out to left-center field for his 28th of the season. That got Arizona going en route to its sixth straight win over San Diego at Petco Park.

Souza doubled into the right-center gap with the bases loaded to bring home three runs in the sixth and extend the lead to 8-3.

Robbie Ray started for Arizona and walked his first two batters. While Ray held San Diego to two hits, both by Eric Hosmer, he allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings. Ray walked five and struck out three.

Hosmer homered in the fifth on a ball that just cleared the left field fence beyond Jon Jay‘s glove. Arizona challenged the call as it appeared a fan interfered with Jay, but the call was upheld after replay review.

Eduardo Escobar added a solo home run in the eighth against Jose Castillo.

Lucchesi (6-7) allowed five runs and nine hits over four innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Manuel Margot hit a solo homer to left in the eighth to cut the lead to 9-4.

YOU’RE OUTTA HERE

Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed was ejected in the third by home plate umpire James Hoye after striking out looking. Daniel Descalsco replaced Ahmed in the lineup. It was Ahmed’s second career ejection.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: LHP Eric Lauer made a rehab start at Class A Lake Elsinore on Friday night. Lauer has been sidelined since July 31 with a left forearm strain.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (13-6, 4.20) takes the mound in the third game of the series. Godley is 4-0 in his last eight starts.

Padres: LHP Clayton Richard gets the call and looks to continue a stretch of pitching five innings or more in his last four starts.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta making strides on defense

Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta making strides on defense

SAN DIEGO – Twice in the early innings on Thursday night, a Padres hitter scorched a ball to left field, and twice the Diamondbacks’ David Peralta raced to make a play, the first ball taking him into the gap, the second one back toward the wall.

Neither play was especially breathtaking, nor were they pivotal to the Diamondbacks’ victory. But they served as reminders of something that has changed this season: The expectations around Peralta’s defense have shifted significantly, to the point that catches like those are almost commonplace. He is expected to make them.

Peralta has never been a poor defender, certainly never to the levels of Yasmany Tomas or other rough-around-the-edges corner outfielders the Diamondbacks have employed in recent years.

But he’s never been able to make consistently challenging plays as frequently as he has this year. Outfield coach Dave McKay sees a few reasons for this. For one, Peralta is playing almost exclusively in left field rather than bouncing between there and right field.

While the two positions don’t seem that different, McKay says they can be, particularly when it comes to the different angles the ball takes off the bat from left- and right-handed hitters. And, McKay said, just as Peralta was beginning to get the hang of right field, the Diamondbacks traded for J.D. Martinez midway through last season, necessitating a full-time move to left.

While Peralta was playing right, McKay said he had him change the way he sets up before the pitch, squaring his body less toward home plate and more toward second base, a small tweak that let him get better jumps on balls in the gap. In left, he’s made a mirror image of the same adjustment.

“It’s an adjustment that really helped him,” McKay said. “He’s getting more comfortable with it and it’s more of an instinctual thing instead of having to think, think, think.”

Peralta, who was not in the lineup on Friday night, was unavailable for comment because he was not at Petco Park prior to the game.

Manager Torey Lovullo was dodgy when discussing the subject on Friday afternoon. First, he said it was “just a day” for Peralta and that the matchup against Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi made it a natural day for him to sit.

But then Lovullo added that Peralta would be “back out there as soon as possible.” When asked why Peralta wasn’t at the park, Lovullo said he told him to stay at the hotel to “relax and take some time off,” adding that Peralta would be available and would arrive sometime before the game.

Peralta was not seen in the visitors’ dugout during the first inning.

As for his defensive improvement, it isn’t evident in advanced metrics, and while people around the team can’t explain that, they have little doubt he’s made significant strides since last year. Peralta has received plenty of attention for his breakout season at the plate. He might be quietly making a similar jump defensively.

“Absolutely,” McKay said.

Peralta’s background – he was signed out of Venezuela as a pitcher – lent itself to him being raw as an outfielder. But McKay thinks Peralta as improved and will continue to do so. He’s wired to work hard.

“He comes out and works at it,” McKay said. “And he works at it a lot, especially at home when we have the field (available before the game). I keep saying he’ll get better and better as long as he stays healthy.”

READ MORE

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

Diamondbacks' Clay Buchholz: Goes distance for sixth win

Diamondbacks' Clay Buchholz: Goes distance for sixth win

Buchholz (6-2) tossed his first complete game since 2015 en route to claiming a win Thursday in the Diamondbacks‘ 5-1 victory over the Padres. He gave up one run on five hits and no walks while striking out six.

Buchholz only induced six swinging strikes in the 112-pitch outing, but took advantage of the spacious confines of Petco Park to record 11 flyball outs, his most of the season. After taking over as the Diamondbacks’ No. 5 starter following Shelby Miller’s (elbow) move back to the disabled list in July, Buchholz has assured himself a permanent spot in the rotation the rest of the way even if Miller is back at some point in September. Buchholz has posted a 2.36 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 34.1 innings in his five second-half starts.

More News