D-backs have no answer for Peavy
Arizona offense manages only three hits against Padres ace
SAN DIEGO -- During the D-backs' past two weeks of winning baseball that has vaulted them into first place in the National League West, when they lost a game they really lost it.Thursday afternoon was one of those days for Arizona, which dropped an 11-0 contest to the Padres at PETCO Park. The D-backs' only two losses in their past 12 games have come in shutouts with a combined margin of defeat of 25 runs, including Sunday's loss to the Braves. Still, Arizona took two out of three from San Diego after winning a pair of four-run games the past two days. "It's great, we'll take it," manager Bob Melvin said. "Similar to the Atlanta game, it wasn't our best game, but if you're going to lose, you're going to lose, it counts as one. We responded well last time we got beat like this, so we'll go into L.A. taking two out of three here and feeling good about it." The Arizona offense ran into Padres ace Jake Peavy, and the results weren't pretty. Peavy (11-5) pitched seven shutout innings, yielding three hits and striking out 10. "That's the other factor," Melvin said. "We ran into Jake on a day where he's got everything working pretty good. Velocity was there on both sides, and when he's on top of his game he's tough to deal with. Obviously the game gets out of hand a little bit." Stephen Drew collected two of those hits, including a leadoff double in the fifth. The D-backs could not capitalize, also stranding a leadoff double in the third, on a day Peavy was dealing. "He's got good stuff," Drew said. "He'll throw anything in any count and uses it as a weapon. You can't just sit on one pitch every time, so the best thing you can do is try to put good swings on it. That's the type of pitcher hopefully you can jump on soon and hopefully score some runs, and today it didn't work out." Yusmeiro Petit struggled for the second game in a row after the first couple innings. Petit only allowed one hit through three innings, a two-run homer by Morgan Ensberg, before faltering in a two-run fifth. For the game he allowed five runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking four. "Good early on, and then he got a couple balls up," Melvin said. "Missed with location a couple pitches. Every time he did he ended up paying for it." Petit's a pitcher who relies on command, so he struggled after getting behind in the count as the game went along. When that forced him to come into the middle of the plate, San Diego capitalized. "He's a guy that's got to hit his spot because he's not a power-throwing guy," said catcher Miguel Montero. "First inning he was locating good. Even in the second one he just missed one pitch and it cost a homer. After that, he was working pretty good, and I don't know what happened. He started missing location in the fifth inning. He didn't have his changeup there, he got behind, and it's tough to pitch behind in the count."
Petit retired 13 of the first 14 hitters in his last start against the Braves before pitching poorly in his final 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs. Montero said the starts were similar for Petit, who had not allowed more than three runs in any of his first five outings before the Atlanta start.Dustin Nippert followed that up by giving up five runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, allowing the Padres to pull away. Nippert entered the fifth with one out and the bases loaded and only allowed one run to score via a wild pitch. He pitched great through two innings, striking out four in the process, before the Padres put up their five spot in the seventh in a rally that started with two outs. "Nippert pitched well," Melvin said. "There at the end it got out of hand a little bit. Up until that point, he gets us out of a jam again, pitched well the next inning. I think all in all he actually threw the ball well until the end of his outing there." Despite the lopsided loss, the D-backs still accomplished their goal of taking two out of three in San Diego, which Melvin noted came after shaking off a similar blowout to the Braves on Sunday. "It's huge, especially in your division, so winning two out of three here, we've just got to keep on winning series," Drew said. "It's a good feeling when you still get two out of three wins, but today was just a tough one."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.