''He said, 'one,''' Gibson said. ''We got him two.''
That was enough the way McCarthy dominated the punchless Padres in a 2-1 victory.
McCarthy (2-10) went seven innings and limited the Padres to one run and six hits. He struck out seven with no walks as he beat the Padres for the second time this season and fourth in five career decisions.
''It's a good place to pitch and it's not an easy place to hit from what I understand,'' McCarthy said of winning twice this season at Petco Park. ''It's always damp and a little cool. But maybe some places just fit you and the mound just feels good here.''
Addison Reed pitched the ninth inning for his 18th save in 21 chances.
The Padres, who were no-hit by the Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants in their last game, were again challenged offensively.
Tyson Ross (6-8) took the loss as the Padres continued a disturbing trend. In Ross' last five starts the Padres have scored one run.
It's been a challenging season for McCarthy and the last-place Diamondbacks. But McCarthy's tonic is the Padres as he's 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA against them; 0-10 with a 5.80 ERA against everyone else.
''He hasn't had enough luck; it's been a tough year,'' catcher Miguel Montero said. ''Hopefully this will build his confidence level and that will keep the momentum going. I feel as much happy as he does because he has been working hard and we've been trying to figure it out.''
The Padres cut Arizona's lead in half in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Ross. He drove in Cameron Maybin who reached on a single and took third on a single by Alexi Amarista.
San Diego squandered a chance to tie the game in the sixth when Chase Headley reached third with one out. But with the infield in, Will Venable grounded to Aaron Hill at second base and he erased Headley trying to score. Venable was retired when he broke for second base while Headley was in a rundown.
''That was a huge play,'' Gibson said.
The Diamondbacks broke the 0-0 tie in the fourth when Paul Goldschmidt walked to open the inning, which preceded a single by Montero. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Ross.
David Peralta, a left-handed hitter Gibson moved up in the order, drove in Goldschmidt and Montero with a sharp one-out single up the middle.
''You flip a coin sometimes where you put guys,'' Gibson said. ''He is just swinging the bat good and I liked the matchup against Ross. It worked out well and he got the big hit for us.''
The Padres have been scuffling and that was true again against McCarthy.
''He seems to have a little bit of confidence here in this ballpark,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''He has good stuff; you look at his velocity. His breaking ball was a little bit better today than I can remember.''
Down 2-0, the Padres had an opportunity to cut into their deficit when Headley and Yasmani Grandal had consecutive one-out singles in the fourth inning. But Venable and Jake Goebbert struck out looking to squash the rally.
The Padres got their first hit in 11 innings in the third when Ross bunted for a two-out single. Ross' effort down the first base line was fielded by McCarthy but his throw was late and offline.
Ross, the Padres' second base runner over that 11-inning span, didn't go far. Everth Cabrera followed with a groundball to shortstop to end the inning.
NOTES: Diamondbacks SS Chris Owings was scratched from the lineup with a sore left shoulder. ... Padres GM Kevin Towers will undergo surgery to repair a damaged right vocal cord on July 7. ... Gibson attended Thursday night's tribute to Tony Gwynn. ''It was a great celebration of Tony and what he meant to his team, this city and his fans,'' Gibson said. ''He left a great legacy.'' ... Padres OF Carlos Quentin's sore left shoulder kept him out of the lineup. ... Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (tender right shoulder) will play catch in three days. ... Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter (6-4, 3.87) faces Padres LHP Eric Stults (2-10, 5.49) on Saturday.
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- Brandon McCarthy