Arizona at San Diego

San Diego
W: O. Hernandez (2-3) L: W. Williams (1-1)
S: J. Valverde (5)
HR: ARI - C. Jackson (3)   SD - M. Bellhorn (1), M. Piazza (3)

Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2

CBS wire reports

SAN DIEGO -- Even El Duque got into the action when Arizona's pitching staff shut down the punchless Padres during a three-game sweep.

Orlando Hernandez, the seemingly ageless right-hander, was impressive for six innings and rookie Conor Jackson homered in helping Arizona beat San Diego 3-2 on Wednesday.

One of the few highlights for the Padres during this dismal series came when Mike Piazza hit his 400th career homer with two outs in the ninth. It was his third with San Diego.

Otherwise, this series was all about Arizona's pitching dominating the defending NL West champion Padres' popgun offense.

"We're awful right now. We know it," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.

Hernandez (2-3) stopped a personal three-game losing streak during which he allowed 14 earned runs in 16 1-3 innings. He struck out a season-high nine and allowed only two hits and a run in his first appearance against the Padres since beating them in Game 2 of the 1998 World Series as a rookie with the New York Yankees. He walked two.

El Duque quickly made everyone forget that he came into the game with a 6.33 ERA. He retired the first six Padres' batters, including striking out the side in the second.

"I think this is good luck," he said. "I moved my ball very good today. Maybe the hitters were a little confused. Today's my day."

After Hernandez left, three relievers held the Padres to one hit in the last three innings. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

"El Duque was missing bats," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "It looked like his velocity was up early in the game. Usually it kind of takes him a while to get into that. But right away we were seeing mid-to-upper 80s, sharp breaking ball. It was probably the best stuff I've seen him have all year."

El Duque's age is listed as 36. When he came over from the Chicago White Sox in a trade on Dec. 20, general manager Josh Byrnes said the Diamondbacks believe Hernandez is closer to 40.

"I feel a lot better today," Hernandez said. "I just start very early. I think that when I go to the mound I was feeling very good, I can throw my speed in the first inning. It's very good for me. It's good for my confidence."

It was the third straight excellent outing by a Diamondbacks starter. Brandon Webb pitched into the ninth on Monday night, allowing just six hits in a 4-1 win. Claudio Vargas allowed four hits in seven innings in a 7-0 victory on Tuesday night.

"One thing you want to get is good swings," Bochy said. "It looks like we have gotten a little defensive. I think some guys have lost some confidence. For us to be in a rut this long, it shouldn't happen."

Piazza at least had a good swing, driving a 2-2 pitch from Valverde into the second deck in left field.

"You want to enjoy it," Piazza said. "Hopefully, it'd come in a win. It would've been a little better and a sweeter if we were playing a little better baseball."

Piazza said the Padres are frustrated.

"You can't say it's early forever. No excuses," he said. "We haven't been able to put up a crooked number. Runs are hard to come by. We're just stuck in neutral."

It was the second time the Padres were swept at home this year. They were embarrassed in losing three straight to Colorado April 7-9.

The Padres were held to two or fewer runs for the sixth time in seven games on this 10-game homestand, falling to 2-5 in that span. They've scored only 15 runs in those seven games, with half of them coming in a 7-4 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.

San Diego is 3-9 at home this season, having been outscored 70-34 at Petco Park.

Jackson broke a 1-1 tie with one out in the sixth when he homered over the 358-foot sign in left field off Woody Williams (1-1), his third. Jackson had three hits and four RBI on Tuesday night.

Shawn Green had three hits for Arizona. He singled in the eighth and scored on Chris Snyder's double. Damion Easley hit an RBI single in the fourth.

With rookie Josh Barfield getting a day off, Mark Bellhorn started at second base and hit a solo homer with two outs in the fifth off El Duque. Bellhorn also made two nice plays at second base.

Williams allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked three.


Piazza is the 41st player in big league history to reach the 400-homer plateau, and one of nine active players to do it. ... Padres RHP Chris Young is expected to start as scheduled on Friday night against the Dodgers after medication helped alleviate reduced blood flow to an artery in his pitching thumb, manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Bochy said Padres ace Jake Peavy is catching too much of the plate with his sinker, which has contributed to his 1-3 record and 5.17 ERA, and will need to make adjustments before his next start. "It's not physical at all," Bochy said. "He feels great."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

S. Green
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
San Diego

M. Piazza
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Game Information
Attendance - 22247
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Bill Welke