Padres look to build momentum vs. Diamondbacks

MLB Baseball

Blake Snell pitched a season-long 7 2/3 innings in his most recent outing and didn’t receive a win for it.

The San Diego Padres left-hander will look to pitch another gem on Tuesday night when he faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle contest of a three-game set at Phoenix.

San Diego will aim for its second straight win after posting a 7-5 victory in the opener. Fernando Tatis Jr. went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs and Eric Hosmer also went deep.

Snell was in stellar form when he gave up one run and three hits and struck out 10 without issuing a walk against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday. But one of his career-most 122 pitches was Will Smith’s eighth-inning homer, forcing Snell to settle for a no-decision in San Diego’s 5-3 loss in 16 innings.

The high-pitch output could continue down the stretch as Padres manager Jayce Tingler wants to rely heavily on Snell and right-handers Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish as San Diego (70-62) attempts to outduel the Cincinnati Reds (71-62) for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

“We’re in a position where those guys are healthy and are able to do that,” Tingler said of the workloads. “So we’re going to be looking to those guys and leaning on those guys down the stretch, that’s for sure.”

The outing against the Dodgers marked the second time in a four-start span that Snell (6-5, 4.58 ERA) reached double digits in strikeouts. He matched his career best of 13 and allowed two hits in seven shutout innings while beating the Diamondbacks on Aug. 8.

Five days later, Snell gave up two runs and six hits over five innings in a no-decision against Arizona. Those are the only runs he has allowed in four career starts against the Diamondbacks.

The 28-year-old Snell is 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings versus Arizona. He has given up 13 hits and walked seven.

Christian Walker (0-for-10, seven strikeouts) and Ketel Marte (2-for-14, one homer) have struggled against Snell.

Marte hit his third career grand slam on Monday but couldn’t prevent the Diamondbacks from losing their fourth straight game and eighth in their past 11.

Arizona played sloppy defense in the first two innings. A botched pickoff play in which Josh Rojas mishandled a throw to second base kept the first inning going, and Tatis made the Diamondbacks pay with a two-run homer. Then Arizona failed to get an out on back-to-back bunt plays during San Diego’s two-run second inning.

“Between the first and second innings, we looked like crap,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of the shaky play. “And we looked like we weren’t ready to play, and that was my responsibility.”

Right-hander Zac Gallen (2-7, 4.32) will be on the mound for Arizona after ending a 13-start winless stretch against the Philadelphia Phillies last Thursday.

Gallen gave up two unearned runs and three hits in five innings against the Phillies. He has allowed six hits without giving up an earned run in 12 innings over his last two efforts.

Before that, the Padres torched him for three homers — two by Tatis and one by Jake Cronenworth — on Aug. 15. He gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings while taking his seventh consecutive setback.

Gallen is 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in two starts against San Diego this season, and 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA in four career outings. Hosmer, Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham also have homered off Gallen during their careers.

–Field Level Media

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