Corbin fans 11 in 6 innings, D-backs win 7th straight series
PHOENIX (AP) — Rack up another series victory for the Arizona Diamondbacks and another dominant win for Patrick Corbin.
The left-hander struck out 11 in six innings to improve to 4-0 in five starts, and the Diamondbacks became the first team in 15 years to win their first seven series of a season with a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
"The pitching once again led the way for us today and that once again fell right on Patrick Corbin," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks, who took the last two from the Padres after losing the series opener.
The last team to win its first seven series was the San Francisco Giants in 2003. NL West-leading Arizona's 15-6 record matches the franchise's best start after 21 games.
"Every time we go out there, we're in every game," Corbin said. "I don't know one game we've not been in. If we keep them close, our offense is going come around and put up some runs."
Corbin, coming off a one-hit shutout of San Francisco on Tuesday night, allowed two hits, one of them a two-run homer to Christian Villanueva, and walked one. He also singled in the last run in the Diamondbacks' four-run fourth inning.
Again displaying a dominant slider combined with an effective fastball and a slower version of his breaking ball, Corbin has 48 strikeouts (and just six walks) in his 33 1/3 innings.
"A really good slider," the Padres' Eric Hosmer said. "He has a lot more run on the fastball than I remember. I thought he had that curveball as kind of a bail-out pitch at certain times. There is a reason he is having the start that he is with those breaking balls, (the) movement and location that he has. He is a tough at-bat."
Archie Bradley survived some trouble to get the final four outs for his second save. The shortstop Ahmed made a diving stop to get the first out in the ninth. Villanueva then doubled and moved to third on Eric Hosmer's groundout before Bradley struck out Jose Pirela to end the game.
Villanueva's seventh home run of the season came on an 0-2 pitch after Corbin struck out Wil Myers but the ball sailed to the backstop and Myers reached safely, avoiding what would have been the third out.
Rookie Joey Lucchesi (2-1) gave up four runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked four.
Arizona broke a scoreless tie with Lucchesi's help in a four-run fourth.
Paul Goldschmidt drew a leadoff walk and A.J. Pollock singled. With one out and runners at first and third, Pollock broke for second and Lucchesi threw the ball wildly over the first baseman Myers' head. Goldschmidt scored and Pollock raced to third. The next batter, Ahmed, hit a two-run shot into the Arizona bullpen down the left field line and the Diamondbacks were up 3-0.
"I think I had him (Pollock) picked off but I obviously threw it away," Lucchesi said, "and I let it bother me the next pitch and I threw an off-speed right over the plate. I kind of let it get to me head when I shouldn't have. I could have got out of that with minimal damage."
Deven Marrero followed with a walk, stole second and scored on Corbin's two-out single up the middle to make it 4-0.
Corbin struck out the first two he faced in the fourth, and got Myers to wave at a slider that bounced far off the plate. By the time catcher Jeff Mathis chased it down, Myers was on first, the inning was still alive and Villanueva was at the plate.
After his double and homer on Sunday, Villanueva is batting .355 with seven homers, five doubles and 16 RBIs.
Padres: 1B Myers started after taking Saturday off as the Padres ease him back following his return from the 10-day DL (nerve irritation in his right arm) on Friday.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said after the game that 3B Jake Lamb will be shut down for "a couple days" after an MRI revealed right elbow tendinitis. The D-backs had hoped Lamb would return on their upcoming trip. ... OF Steven Souza Jr., who has yet to play because of a strained right pectoral muscle, resumed throwing exercises on Sunday.
Padres: San Diego opens a three-game series at Colorado on Monday night, going with RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-2, 5.03) against the Rockies' Chad Bettis (3-0, 1.44).
Diamondbacks: Arizona has Monday off, and then opens a three-game set in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The Diamondbacks will go with LHP Robbie Ray (2-0, 4.98) against Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (1-2, 3.80).