The Arizona Diamondbacks could do without seeing a rookie named Yasmani Grandal again anytime soon. Grandal powered his San Diego Padres to a 8-6 win on Independence Day, and more demoralizing for the D-backs, a fifth straight loss in being swept in a three-game series by the Padres for the first time ever in Phoenix.
The fourth-place team in the NL West, by a large margin at that, ripped three important games from Arizona at Chase Field, Wednesday's in front of a sellout crowd of 48,819.
"San Diego played well but we made mistakes this whole series," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Grandal's swinging a hot bat right now... They outplayed us, outpitched us, outhit us."
Grandal, batting for starting catcher John Baker against standout D-backs reliever David Hernandez in the top of the eighth inning, made Padres manager Bud Black look like a genius for the move, hitting a towering drive to right field that Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton got to with a leap and his glove over the fence. But the ball fell away for a home run after hitting Upton's glove. For Grandal, who'd homered Monday in the series opener, it was the fourth home run in six total major-league hits after being called up just last Saturday and his was the key hit of the game.
The ball eluding his glove was just part of a rough Fourth of July for Upton.
Jason Kubel's three-run home run, lined over the fence down the right-field line on the first pitch he saw from the Padres' Jason Marquis with one out in the first inning, gave the Diamondbacks a 3-1 lead. But the Padres, easy winners the previous two nights, battled back against D-backs ace Ian Kennedy.
Yonder Alonso hit a long single to drive in Alexi Amarista to make it 3-2 with two out in the third, and Marquis helped himself with a two-out double off Kennedy to drive in Evereth Cabrera in the fourth.
The Diamonbacks scuffled against Marquis after the first inning. Marquis set down 12 Diamondbacks in a row after the third inning, a string only broken up in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Gerardo Parra singled to right with one out.
San Diego led 4-3 at that point. Parra, the ignitor that he often is, stole second and came home on WIllie Bloomquist's base hit to tie the score. Parra clapped his hands with delight before he reached home plate.
That was the end of the night for Marquis, who went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Kennedy was taken off the hook for a loss, but it wasn't his most effective effort. He was tagged for four runs on nine hits in seven innings, but walked just one and struck out five.
Bloomquist was on second base with All-Star Final Vote candidate Aaron Hill up. Hill hit a screaming line drive that looked headed for the left -field corner before it hooked just foul. Padres reliever Luke Gregerson struck out Hill, and fanned Upton for the third out of the inning.
Upton left at least one runner in scoring position on base three times on his 0-for-5 night, and after that strikeout in the seventh got a loud chorus of boos.
"Nobody wants to be booed," Gibson said. "He played his tail off."
It got worse for the D-backs (39-42). With Bryan Shaw in to pitch in the top of the ninth, Chris Denorfia doubled for the Padres, hustled to third on a sacrifice attempt by Amarista, and turned the corner for home when Shaw fielded the bunt from Amarista and threw wildly to up the left field line.
Amarista scored on Alonso's double, and the deficit was too much to overcome for the Diamondbacks.
Arizona rallied with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth on a Ryan Roberts single, RBI double for Stephen Drew and Hill's RBI groundout, but the Padres' Huston Street closed it out.