SAN DIEGO -- It wasn't the eight walks that Padres pitchers issued Saturday that ultimately did them in against the D-backs, nor was it the two strong throws by right fielder Gerardo Parra that helped to cut down two players on the bases in critical situations.
And, truth be told, it probably wasn't relief pitcher Joe Thatcher's balk with a runner on third in a tied game, which allowed the D-backs to take the lead for good, that made the biggest difference in a 4-2 win over the Padres before a crowd of 36,559 at Petco Park.
It certainly felt that way to Thatcher, though.
"That [call] took the ball out of my hands," Thatcher said. "I feel like it was a pretty ridiculous call."
Thatcher's balk allowed Parra -- who singled to start the inning -- to trot in from third base for a 3-2 lead as third base umpire Brian Gorman indicated that Thatcher has moved his hands while set.
"To be honest Parra kind of fooled me on that. I was on the bench and I was like 'Whoa, what are you doing man?' That was a big run for us right there," said D-backs catcher Miguel Montero.
Thatcher (0-1) didn't see it that way.
"I didn't do anything," Thatcher said. "But once Parra and the third base coach [Matt Williams] started yelling, I think he [Gorman] figured he had to make a call."
The Padres (18-36) couldn't recover and the D-backs (24-29) added a run in the eighth inning to provide a cushion -- never a bad thing considering the inconsistent state of Arizona's bullpen and with the memory of San Diego's six-run eighth inning still too fresh.
Arizona pitcher Daniel Hudson (2-1) allowed two runs on five hits over eight innings. He walked one and had five strikeouts in the game. He's now 5-1 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts against the Padres.
The guy on the other side, Padres pitcher Edinson Volquez, wasn't that bad, either. Volquez allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, but was saddled with a high pitch count after walking five and striking out five.
One of the runs Volquez allowed was a home run into the upper deck in left field by Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth inning.
"I was all over the place all game," Volquez said. "Made a mistake with Goldschmidt in the 3-1 count, just wanted to get the ball away and the ball came back to the middle, he put a good swing on it."
It was the seventh quality start for Volquez, but the fifth time this season he's walked four or more in a game.
"The effort level might have been a little too high," said Padres catcher Nick Hundley. "He's really, really good when he backs off a little. Sometimes, less is more."
The Padres finished with six hits and scoring opportunities were scarce against Hudson. That said, they had a few chances.
In the third inning, Everth Cabrera lined a ball to the wall in right-center field. Parra played the ball on a hop and fired it to second baseman Aaron Hill who relayed the ball to Josh Bell at third base just in time to nab Cabrera as he tried to turn a double into a triple.
Then in the fourth inning, after the Padres scored twice on run-scoring singles by Cameron Maybin and Yonder Alonso, Parra threw out Alonso as he tried to advance to third base on a fly ball to right off the bat of Carlos Quentin.
"He made two strong throws and had one good relay. I thought with both plays they had to execute and they did," said Padres manager Bud Black said. "Cabbie is one of our fastest runners. Parra ran hard to the ball and Hill made a nice, accurate throw. That's a good play."