Padres attempt to complete sweep of D-backs

MLB

The San Diego Padres have recorded back-to-back victories for the first time in three weeks as they look for a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix.

The modest streak marks the Padres’ best stretch since winning four straight games from Aug. 7-10. San Diego is tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

San Diego had lost 13 of 16 games prior to the Arizona series but displayed good energy while recording 7-5 and 3-0 victories in the first two games.

Left-hander Blake Snell tossed seven no-hit innings in the Padres’ shutout win Tuesday. He fanned 10 and walked two. However, his bid to join teammate Joe Musgrove as the only pitchers in Padres history to throw no-hitters ended with manager Jayce Tingler’s decision to remove him from the game.

Reliever Pierce Johnson gave up a bloop single to David Peralta with one out in the eighth, and San Diego completed a combined three-hit shutout.

Tingler said it was the right thing to pull Snell as the 28-year-old had thrown 7 2/3 innings and 122 pitches in his previous outing.

“It’s the last thing you want to do,” Tingler said of removing Snell with a no-hitter intact. “The reality is he’s coming off his career-high pitches, his career high in innings, he’s on a great roll right now, and it’s 107 pitches.”

While Snell enjoyed a superb August with three outings of 10 or more strikeouts, the Padres would like to see All-Star right-hander Yu Darvish rediscover his form in September.

Darvish (7-8, 3.80 ERA) is 0-6 in his past nine starts since last winning on June 21 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has a 6.27 ERA during the stretch.

One of Darvish’s better outings of late came against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 7, when he matched his season high of 12 strikeouts and gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings in a no-decision.

Five days later, he lasted just 2 2/3 innings against Arizona while being pounded for five runs and six hits.

Darvish is 0-1 with a 5.31 ERA in four starts against the lowly Diamondbacks this season.

“I want to see a good outing from Darvish, and give us a chance to win,” Tingler said. “It’s a short turnaround with the day game, but we need to be ready to go.”

Darvish is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in nine career starts against Arizona. Peralta is 7-for-18 with three homers off Darvish.

The Diamondbacks have dropped five straight games and nine of their past 12.

Arizona batters combined to strike out 14 times on Tuesday, and Pavin Smith’s game-ending at-bat was the team’s lone trip to the plate with a runner in scoring position. Smith fanned against Mark Melancon.

Diamondbacks right-hander Luke Weaver (2-3, 4.50 ERA) will make his return Wednesday after missing 3 1/2 months due to a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.

Weaver made three rehab starts at Triple-A Reno before he entered COVID-19 protocols after being a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus.

The initial plan was for Weaver to make one more rehab start, but he cleared protocols over the weekend and the Diamondbacks decided he would start against the Padres instead.

“We felt like there was enough of a buildup that he could throw a bullpen and be ready to go,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said prior to the Tuesday game.

Weaver is 2-5 with a 3.79 ERA in eight career starts against the Padres. Fernando Tatis Jr. (4-for-8, one homer) and Manny Machado (5-for-13, two homers) have fared well against the 28-year-old.

–Field Level Media

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