D-backs get late runs to top Padres
Tracy caps comeback with run-scoring single in eighth
PHOENIX -- On Tuesday, Chad Tracy's wife Katie delivered the couple's first child.
Saturday night, the new father came through with a delivery of his own as his line-drive single up the middle scored what proved to be the winning run as the D-backs rallied for a 5-4 win over the Padres in front of 36,833 at Chase Field.
The win was the second in as many games for the D-backs since the All-Star break and comes on the heels of the five-game losing stretch they were on to end the first half.
"Right now we're getting hits at the right time, and that's what we've been preaching all year is being accountable and getting the big hit with two outs," Tracy said. "Guys are starting to step up and hopefully guys can keep this momentum going."
An Arizona win certainly didn't seem like it was going to be in the offing early, as the Padres built a 4-0 lead behind starter Chris Young, who came into the game with 1.17 ERA in his last 12 starts.
The 6-foot-10 Young doesn't throw particularly hard, but his upper 80s to low 90s fastball looks faster thanks to his height and the way he hides the ball during his delivery.
"He's just a tough guy to gauge even if you're guessing right on him," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "It's tough to get a couple of good swings against him."
That was obvious given that Arizona didn't have a hit through the first 4 1/3 innings as the Padres built a 4-0 lead off Livan Hernandez.
Young's no-hit and shutout bids came to an end when Tony Clark lifted an 0-2 breaking ball over the wall in right.
Clark was starting for the first time since July 1, and a big reason was the two home runs he had hit against Young when he faced him in May. In fact, Young has allowed just four homers this year, and three have come off Clark's bat.
"He's done that for us time and time again," Melvin said of Clark. "It's a pretty easy game to get him in there, and obviously we need to get him in there from time to time because of the fact that he ends up getting the biggest at-bat of the game for us quite often."
Knocking a starter out of a game and getting into the opposition's bullpen is usually something a team tries to do. But when the opponent is the Padres, that's not always such a good idea, as San Diego had the league's top-ranked bullpen coming into the game.
But with Young dealing, the D-backs just tried to battle as best they could hoping to get his pitch count up enough to force his exit.
Finally, after six innings and 96 pitches the D-backs got their wish as San Diego manager Bud Black decided to go to his bullpen and bring in reliever Heath Bell. Not that the D-backs were giddy to face a pitcher with a 1.78 ERA, but he wasn't Young and on this night that was what mattered.
The D-backs were able to string together five hits and a sacrifice fly off Bell in the seventh as they scored three times to tie the game at 4.
"Big hits," Melvin said. "Not trying to do too much right there; nobody's trying to leave the park right there. Pitching us away and we're taking what they're giving us. Good at-bats across the board. Once we started stringing some hits together, we had a good feeling that we were going to win the game."
And that's just what happened one inning later, when Orlando Hudson led off the frame with a double off Scott Linebrink. One out later, Tracy lined a 2-1 fastball just to the left of second to score Hudson.
"I just tried to put a good swing and hit it right back up the middle, and fortunately I did it," Tracy said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.