Padres 9, Diamondbacks 5

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PHOENIX (AP)—The San Diego Padres are 16-5 in May, one victory from tying the franchise record for wins in the month.

Geoff Blum, asked to replace injured second baseman Mark Loretta, was one of three players with two RBIs, and the Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 Tuesday night.

Phil Nevin, who drove in two runs with a homer and single, singled out pinch-hitter Robert Fick for hitting a solo homer leading off the eighth inning. It staked San Diego to a 5-3 lead.

“The biggest one of the night was Fick’s home run,” Nevin said. “An 0-2 pitch when they were climbing back into it, and we hadn’t done anything for a while. For him to come up there and hit the ball like he did … our bench has been huge for us.”

Fick was signed as a minor league free agent and began the season at Triple-A Portland. His contract was purchased May 2, the day after he was eligible to be put on San Diego’s major league roster. Within a week he homered at St. Louis and had a tying, bases-loaded double at Cincinnati in a 13-inning win.

This time, he drove a pitch by Mike Koplove an estimated 412 feet. It was his 12th major league at-bat of the month and started a three-run inning.

“Being a role guy on this team, you’ve just got to be ready for those situations and make the most of it,” Fick said. “Tonight, I was fortunate enough for it to happen.”

Brian Giles added a run-scoring double off Javier Lopez, and Nevin had an RBI single off Jose Valverde.

In the ninth, Dave Roberts had an RBI triple—his second of the game—and Blum hit an RBI single.

Arizona scored twice in the eighth, when Craig Counsell hit a two-run homer off reliever Okinori Otsuka, who faced three batters without getting an out. But Chris Hammond retired Luis Gonzalez and Troy Glaus on fly balls and threw out Shawn Green to end the inning.

“Overall we played well,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We did a lot of good things.”

Trevor Hoffman came on with two on and two outs in the ninth and got his 14th save in 16 opportunities.

“We struggled all the way around,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “When we needed the big hit, we couldn’t get it.”

Adam Eaton (7-1) went 5 2-3 innings to extend his career-best winning streak to six games, including five straight since a no-decision at San Francisco on April 26. The streak began with a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 21.

Eaton allowed two of his nine hits in the sixth, getting two outs before Rudy Seanez replaced him.

Seanez, who had not allowed any of nine previous inherited runners to score this season, promptly gave up RBI singles to Chad Tracy and Gonzalez, then walked Glaus to load the bases before striking out Green.

Scott Linebrink pitched a scoreless seventh for the Padres, who came in having lost two straight after winning eight in a row.

Arizona starter Russ Ortiz took the loss when the sixth-inning rally fell short. Ortiz (4-3) allowed four runs and four hits and walked six—one short of the team record set by Randy Johnson and tied by Steve Sparks.

Both teams had 15 hits.

The Padres got three runs in the first after Roberts’ leadoff triple.

Blum, starting the Padres’ first game with Loretta on the disabled list after thumb surgery, had an RBI groundout.

After another out, Giles and Nevin had consecutive singles, and Ramon Hernandez followed with a two-run double that one-hopped the center field wall.

“For whatever reason, just that one inning I lost the feel of the strike zone, I guess,” Ortiz said. “But with me I’ve always had to battle through those innings, and the attitude I’ve taken is that I have to learn how to take it.”

Arizona scored in the second on an RBI groundout by Chris Snyder.

Nevin made it 4-1 when he led off the fifth with an opposite-field homer.


Hernandez extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. … Blum went 1-for-5 in Loretta’s lineup spot, but made a great defensive play, leaping high to snag Tracy’s liner in the third. “That’s the nice thing about tall second basemen,” said Bochy, who doubted Loretta would have caught the ball. … Seanez improved his string to 13 2-3 scoreless innings despite letting the inherited runners score. … Counsell’s homer was hit 700th hit.

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