Arizona at San Diego

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Arizona (88-65) «0001012015122
San Diego (65-88)001000000172

D-Backs end mini-skid, cut magic number to five

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- With the San Francisco Giants getting hot, the Arizona Diamondbacks know they have to keep winning.

Joe Saunders took a five-hitter into the ninth inning, Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs and the Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Sunday to cut the magic number to five for their first NL West title since 2007.

Arizona maintained a five-game lead on second-place San Francisco with nine games remaining, stopping a three-game losing streak. The Diamondbacks will open a nine-game homestand Monday against Pittsburgh, then play host to the Giants for a three-game series next weekend.

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"When you go on a little stretch and you get a little antsy like that, you start to press a little bit," Saunders said. "You just need to relax. When you relax, things come easier to you. I think that's what happened. They didn't try to do to much and we just played our game."

San Francisco kept the pressure on the Diamondbacks with its eighth consecutive victory -- 12-5 at Colorado.

"It's been a couple of days, so it's a good feeling," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Every victory at this point of the season is great. The Giants have been playing great and are on a big winning streak. We needed to match that and take care of our own business."

Saunders (12-12) wanted to make sure he did his job at Petco Park, where he has pitched his best games this season.

The lefty limited last-place San Diego to an unearned run and seven hits in 8 2/3 innings, improving to 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA against the Padres this year. He threw his only complete game this season in a 6-1 victory at San Diego on July 26.

"I came in this morning and decided I need to go out there and throw my 'A' game," Saunders said. "We got some clutch hits down the stretch. We're grinding it out. It was a good win for us."

After Saunders allowed two-out singles by Kyle Blanks and Alberto Gonzalez in the ninth, J.J. Putz struck out pinch-hitter Nick Hundley for his 41st save in 45 chances.

Goldschmidt led the Arizona offense, which managed only three runs during the losing streak. Goldschmidt had three hits, including a leadoff home run in the sixth that put the Diamondbacks ahead for good at 2-1.

"We just couldn't get to Joe Saunders," Padres manager Bud Black said. "His assortment of fastballs in, fastballs down and away. We just couldn't get enough balls squared against him."

Aaron Harang (13-7) allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. He has lost four of his past five starts despite a 3.19 ERA in that span.

Cameron Maybin had a leadoff single in the third, stole second, took third on Miguel Montero's throwing error from behind the plate and scored on Jason Bartlett's groundout.

Montero's 17th home run tied the score leading off the fourth. Goldschmidt put the Diamondbacks ahead 2-1 with a leadoff home run in the sixth.

"It was just a first-pitch fastball up and away," Goldschmidt said. "He likes to get ahead with fastballs, so I was looking for it."

Goldschmidt combined with Aaron Hill for RBI singles in the seventh against Brad Brach and added a sacrifice fly against Erik Hamren in the eighth.

Notes

  • Arizona was 11-7 against San Diego, which is 23-43 against the NL West.
  • RHP Ian Kennedy (19-4, 2.99 ERA) will attempt to become the NL's first 20-game winner this season Monday when he faces Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens (9-8, 3.45).
  • San Diego LHP Corey Luebke (5-9, 3.27) will start the opener of a three-game series, the club's final road games, at Colorado against RHP Kevin Millwood (3-2, 3.68).
 
Copyright 2014 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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Joe Saunders falls short of his second complete game of 2011, but does well enough to end Arizona's losing streak at three.  (Getty Images)
Joe Saunders falls short of his second complete game of 2011, but does well enough to end Arizona's losing streak at three. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Arizona

P. Goldschmidt
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Arizona

A. Hill
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Gerardo Parra, LF4110111 .296
Aaron Hill, 2B5121011 .241
Justin Upton, RF4120012 .293
Miguel Montero, C3111202 .281
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B3123102 .262
Chris Young, CF4020122 .232
Geoff Blum, 3B5000015 .222
John McDonald, SS4020002 .239
Joe Saunders, P3000003 .207
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
Totals35512556  
Batting
2B - Justin Upton (39, Harang)
HR - Miguel Montero (17, Harang), Paul Goldschmidt (8, Harang)
SF - Paul Goldschmidt (1)
SH - Joe Saunders (3)
RBI - Aaron Hill (57), Miguel Montero (82), Paul Goldschmidt 3 (24)
SB - Gerardo Parra (13, 2nd base off Harang/Johnson), Paul Goldschmidt (4, 2nd base off Harang/Johnson)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Blum-Hill-Goldschmidt
E - Miguel Montero (11, Throwing), Gerardo Parra (3, Misplayed grounder)
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Saunders (W,12-12) 8.2710230 3.66
J.J. Putz (S,41) 0.1000010 2.38
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 103-64, J.J. Putz 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 12-10
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 34, J.J. Putz 1
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Cameron Maybin, CF4110000 .268
Jason Bartlett, SS4001010 .248
Chris Denorfia, RF4010000 .279
Jesus Guzman, 1B3000100 .313
Orlando Hudson, 2B4010011 .240
Kyle Blanks, LF4020010 .225
Alberto Gonzalez, 3B4020002 .220
Rob Johnson, C2000101 .190
   a- Nick Hundley, PH1000012 .295
Aaron Harang, P2000003 .093
    Josh Spence, P0000000 .000
    Brad Brach, P0000000 .000
    Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
   b- Aaron Cunningham, PH1000001 .160
    Andrew Carpenter, P0000000 .000
    Erik Hamren, P0000000 .000
Totals3317124  
a-struck out for Johnson in the 9th
b-grounded out for Frieri in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alberto Gonzalez (10, Saunders)
RBI - Jason Bartlett (38)
SB - Cameron Maybin (37, 3rd base off Saunders/Montero)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Bartlett-Guzman, Bartlett-Hudson-Guzman
PB - Rob Johnson 2 (5)
E - Kyle Blanks (1, Misplayed grounder), Erik Hamren (1, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Harang (L,13-7) 6822332 3.82
Josh Spence0011100 2.79
Brad Brach 0.1210110 6.75
Ernesto Frieri 0.2000020 2.98
Andrew Carpenter 1100000 7.82
Erik Hamren 1110000 3.00
IBB - Montero by Brad Brach
HBP - Upton (by Erik Hamren)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 97-66, Josh Spence 6-2, Brad Brach 19-9, Ernesto Frieri 11-8, Andrew Carpenter 16-9, Erik Hamren 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 8-5, Andrew Carpenter 2-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 27, Josh Spence 1, Brad Brach 4, Ernesto Frieri 2, Andrew Carpenter 4, Erik Hamren 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30781
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Field Culbreth