Mistakes Do In D-backs in Loss To Last-Place Padres

OK, maybe you weren't ready. But maybe, after a series win in Los Angeles and the scuffling, bottom-dwelling San Diego Padres in town for a quick two-game set, you were ready to start believing that Arizona can actually make a run at this NL West.

It's early enough where the Diamondbacks still can, but Monday's game might have given some wistful hopefuls a reality check: the D-backs still have the propensity to look ugly in a bad loss, as was the case in Monday's 8-4 loss.

Armando Galarraga (3-4) got his pitches up in yet another inconsistent outing, but it was his defense that truly let the team and crowd down. The Diamondbacks made enough mistakes after two innings that made it so not even the last-place Padres could lose the game.

San Diego was up 1-0 in the first when a routine fly ball caused some sort of miscommunication between center fielder Chris Young and left fielder Gerardo Parra. Both went for the ball, which Young caught, but the stumble and delay in getting off a throw allowed San Diego's Chase Headley to score much easier than what should have been. It was Young's ball to catch -- Parra stepped in front to try for it. Young would have had a much better shot to throw out Headley at the plate with no interference.

In the second, fielding errors by second baseman Ryan Roberts and shortstop Stephen Drew led to Jason Bartlett's two-run double, and on a single by the next hitter, Headley, Young overthrew the cutoff man to allow Headley to take second. 

After an inning and a half, it was 5-0 Padres, and the Diamondbacks couldn't come back.

Henry Blanco did his best to try, giving the D-backs some offense with a pair of solo home runs off Padres starter Clayton Richard. It was Blanco's fourth career two-home run game. Melvin Mora drove in a run with a single in the fifth.

Justin Upton hit a solo home run in the eight, another majestic drive to left field. 

The Diamondbacks, 10-10 at home, failed to pick up a game on first-place San Francisco, which lost to Colorado Monday. Now Arizona is last in the NL West at 17-23 while San Diego moved ahead at 18-23.

Galarraga has to be a concern for manager Kirk Gibson and company. After winning his first three starts of the season, he's taken the loss in four of his last five including Monday. Galarraga was shelled for eight runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings and gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Ludwick on an 0-2 pitch in the fifth. That's 13 homers Galarraga has given up in eight starts, the most in the majors.

"He didn't pitch very well at all. Didn't set a real good tone for us," Gibson said of Galarraga. "We didn't play well at all. Two errors in an inning, a couple of mental errors. We'll have to talk about that some more."

Two things of interest that happened: Juan Miranda was hit with a pitch in the fifth, and reliever Sam Demel plunked Kyle Phillips in the eighth in the leg. Coincidental? Maybe, but the Padres got the last beaning with Ernesto Frieri hitting Xavier Nady in the back with a pitch in the eighth. Also, Chad Qualls was used in relief for the Padres and got a few boos from the crowd. It was Qualls who struggled so mightily as Diamondbacks' closer early last season and who will be remembered by some, well, me, for his Rage Against The Machine intro song. 

Alas, Qualls retired all four batters he faced. 

Some good news for Arizona: Willie Bloomquist, who got off to such a good start at the plate this season before going down with a hamstring injury, could play in an extended spring game Tuesday after taking ground balls Monday. He seems to be only a few days at the most from returning. 

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