PHOENIX (AP)Speedy Padres pinch runner Jorge Mateo was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first base on a single to end the game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks held off San Diego 7-6 on Saturday night.
The Padres nearly completed a late rally after trailing 7-1. San Diego scored twice in the eighth, then three more times in the ninth off Archie Bradley to set up the thrilling final play.
With two outs, Mateo got a head start by trying to steal second when Jurickson Profar lined a single through the infield. Center fielder Starling Marte quickly made the relay to second baseman Ketel Marte, who made a perfect throw to catcher Carson Kelly for the tag.
”Those are the beautiful plays of baseball,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ”The highs and lows, the heart-stopping moments turn into celebrations instantly. We’re all adrenaline junkies, no doubt about it.
”There was collective roar in the dugout, a couple fist pumps. We won the game.”
Mateo once stole 82 bases in a minor league season. The 25-year-old rookie has 283 career steals in the minors. Third base coach Glenn Hoffman never hesitated to send Mateo and force the Diamondbacks to make a play.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler thought Mateo might have beat the throw but, after a review, the umpires confirmed the final out.
”I’m really happy to see the guys continue to fight, make it down to an inch or two there at the very end,” Tingler said. ”It took a really good relay throw to do it. Mateo was busting up from the get-go, got around there quick. I thought it was a good roll of the dice.”
The Diamondbacks continued their recent run of good baseball, winning their third straight and for the seventh time in 10 games. Arizona got 14 hits, including three singles by both David Peralta and Kelly.
Nick Ahmed hit a bases-loaded, two-run double to spark a four-run sixth.
”It’s good to score runs and win games,” Ahmed said.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a two-out, solo homer in the first for San Diego. It was the 21-year-old rising star’s ninth homer of the season and the line drive left the park in a hurry, landing among the dozens of teddy bears seated behind the left field wall.
Arizona tied the game on Kelly’s RBI single in the fourth. The jumped ahead 7-1 by the eighth inning with four runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Padres to 7-3. Kelly made a tremendous catch on a foul popup, leaning over the railing into the camera well next to the D-backs dugout, to secure the third out.
”We make those plays,” Kelly said. ”We make the routine plays and then when there’s a foul ball in the stands, you can get there and reach it, it helps in the long run for sure.”
The Padres pulled within 7-6 in the ninth after Tatis hit a two-run double and Greg Garcia added an RBI single. Bradley got his fifth save but gave up three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Arizona’s Alex Young and San Diego’s Cal Quantrill both made their first starts of the season and both pitched well with a limited pitch count. Young threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up one run while striking out five. Quantrill went 3 2/3 innings and also gave up one run while striking out five.
San Diego fell to 11-11, which is the first time it has been at .500 since opening day. Pierce Johnson (1-1) took the loss, giving up four runs in relief while getting just one out.
Stefan Crichton (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
Padres: LF Tommy Pham left in the second inning because of cramping in both calves. Peralta hit a routine single into left field and Pham jogged toward the ball before awkwardly throwing it to second base. He slowly walked off the field with trainers after the play. … RF Wil Myers left the game in the fifth inning with back tightness. … The Padres put closer Kirby Yates on the 10-day IL with an inflamed right elbow. Manager Jayce Tingler said Yates was scheduled to have an MRI Saturday afternoon. RHP David Bednar was activated to take Yates’ roster spot. Yates led the majors with 41 saves last year.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said LHP Madison Bumgarner felt good two days after throwing a 38-pitch bullpen and he’s expected to throw a 50-pitch simulated game on Monday. Bumgarner is on the 10-day IL with a strained muscle in his back.
Padres: San Diego will send RHP Garrett Richards (1-1, 3.74) to the mound on Sunday.
Diamondbacks: Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (1-2, 10.59) will try to have better command when he takes the mound. He has 23 strikeouts in 17 innings but has also given up 14 walks and 22 hits, including seven homers.
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