SAN DIEGO (AP) — Padres left-hander Clayton Richard was sensational throwing the ball to the plate against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
His offerings to second base weren’t nearly as sharp, though, and that cost San Diego in a 2-1 defeat to Arizona.
Richard (0-3) gave up two hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three, but was done in by two errant throws. He’s had a long history of trouble throwing to bases.
“Unfortunately not fielding my position cost us,” Richard said. “That definitely stings because you play to win, and to have a couple fielding plays cost you the game, that’s really tough.”
San Diego had an equally difficult time with lefty Robbie Ray.
Ray was struck out a career-high 13 and gave up just one hit in seven innings.
Padres manager Andy Green said Richard, making his second start with San Diego in his second stint with the team, had never looked better.
“His sinker was really, really effective,” Green said. “Obviously I’m sure he’d love to have back those two throws into center field, but it’s the best I’ve seen him. The balls really had bottom to it. They were consistently beating them into the ground.”
Richard was left to beat himself up after a strong outing was wasted because of his sloppy throws.
“I kind of let myself stand up and get out of rhythm and my feet get out of line,” he said.
There were no hits in the game until the fifth. Arizona finished with four hits, the Padres got three.
Ray (7-11) overpowered the Padres until the fifth inning when Patrick Kivlehan, called up from Triple-A El Paso before the game, launched a 451-foot home run for his first major league hit.
Arizona used four relievers to close it out. Daniel Hudson induced three infield popups to escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth and Enrique Burgos earned his first save of the season.
Ray threw 22 strikes in his first 26 pitches.
“It was all about fastball command,” he said. “It was mostly fastballs I was throwing and it was just the movement on both sides of the plate.”
The Diamondbacks scored two unearned runs, helped Richard’s throwing errors.
The Padres got little help in trying to touch Ray.
“We had a hard time squaring him up,” Green said. “Obviously we don’t want to punch out like that.”
It was 1-all in the sixth when Phil Gosselin singled and Paul Goldschmidt walked. Rickie Weeks Jr. hit a grounder to Richard, who wheeled and threw the ball into center field, allowing a run to score.
In the Arizona fifth, Welington Castillo singled and Mitch Haniger hit a comebacker that Richard also threw into center. Brandon Drury then grounded into a double play, with Castillo scoring for a 1-0 lead.
Kivlehan had two of the Padres’ hits, none bigger than his home run.
“It was pretty surreal,” he said. “I hit it and I didn’t feel it, so that means that’s a good thing and I saw where it was going. I definitely knew I got it and it kind of one of those feelings where you don’t really know what to think. I just ran around the bases, kind of floating around second and third.”
Diamondbacks: SS Nick Ahmed will undergo season-ending hip surgery next week. He should be fit for spring training.
Diamondbacks: RHP Braden Shipley (2-2, 4.85) is facing the Padres for the first time in his sixth career start. Shipley had a rocky outing his last time out on Tuesday, surrendering seven runs (six earned) over five innings to the New York Mets.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (5-7, 6.68) tries to snap a three-game losing skid, although he pitched well against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. Two of his wins have come against Arizona, including one in relief.
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