SAN DIEGO (AP)Merrill Kelly gave up one run in six innings and David Peralta hit a solo homer to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Arizona went into the All-Star break on a good note but dropped two of three games at San Diego to finish a 2-4 road trip.
”It wasn’t an easy day to play this game. We have had some tough games and tough loses but our guys just rose up and showed a lot of heart. I was really proud of them today,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. ”Merrill had a wonderful presence on the mound, he was on the attack from the first pitch onward.”
The Padres concluded their first half by losing six of their last nine games.
”Today, again, we had a chance to move a guy over and get him in. We didn’t,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. ”We made two more errors today and just not as clean of a game as we’d like. So, hopefully we get a little bit of distance from that and come back out after the break a little bit more fresh.”
Kelly (9-5) kept the Padres off-balance by mixing his pitches and allowed six hits while striking out five.
”The fastball command was good, the curveball was good and I actually was pretty happy I got it to the glove side of the plate today, which normally I have a problem with,” Kelly said. ”It feels good, obviously I would like to go out on a high note rather than a bad one.”
San Diego’s Luke Voit knocked Kelly out of the game with a homer to left in the seventh inning, his second in two games.
”Obviously that one to Voit, I would like to take that change-up and throw it better but overall I was pretty happy,” Kelly said. ”There is a lot that goes into going deep into games. … that means I am doing my job in my mind and that I am executing pitches and getting ahead of people.”
Joe Mantiply and Caleb Smith both worked a scoreless inning before Mark Melancon retired the Padres in order in the ninth to earn his 13th save.
Arizona led 1-0 on Peralta’s homer in the sixth off San Diego starter Mike Clevinger (2-3), who had struck Peralta out twice.
”Then in my third at-bat I just calmed myself down and put a better swing on it,” Peralta said. ”We got a win which is really good and we are going to take this all the way to the second half.”
The Diamondbacks scored two in the seventh off Padres relievers MacKenzie Gore (two walks and a single to load the bases) and Steven Wilson (walked in two runs) to take a 3-0 advantage.
”A walk is a part of this game,” Lovullo said. ”We don’t want guys to go up there to walk but I think being a good hitter and walking is just a product of good hard work and I think we did a nice job of that today.”
Clevinger worked an effective six innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight but lost his third straight start.
”We’re hungry, and I don’t think we’ve played up to our potential just yet,” Clevinger said. ”I think we’re still in the swing of it and finding it, but we’ve got the pieces, we’ve got the guys and we’re sticking strong together in the clubhouse. I think it’s going to bode well for the second half.”
Clevinger worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth, striking out Alek Thomas on a high fastball to end the threat.
The Padres had a chance for an early run in the second inning when Eric Hosmer tried to score from second base on a shallow single to center by C.J. Abrams, but he was thrown out at the plate by Arizona’s Daulton Varsho to end the inning.
Diamondbacks: Host the Nationals on Friday night to begin a six-game homestand.
Padres: At New York Mets on Friday night to start a six-game road trip.