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Jul 7, 2024 8:37 am

Diamondbacks finding ways to win, to Padres’ detriment

ryne nelson

They didn’t have their All-Star second baseman, and they blew a late lead for the second straight game.

No problem for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who outlasted the San Diego Padres 7-5 in 10 innings Saturday night to give themselves a chance to win a second straight road series against a National League West rival on Sunday afternoon.

Arizona hopes their All-Star second baseman, Ketel Marte, will be available after missing Saturday’s game with lower back tightness. Marte, who has played in 85 of the team’s 89 games this season, left Friday night for pinch hitter Randal Grichuk in the ninth inning.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Luvullo acknowledged before Saturday night’s game that he might have to be more vigilant about seeking days off for Marte, who’s batting .284 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs.

“Maybe I’ve got to be a little better at taking him off his feet,” Lovullo said. “He wants to play, and that’s up to me to manage it a little bit better. I think he’ll be fine. He lets me know when things are backing up on him, and we’ll get ahead of this.”

Arizona is 3-2 on its six-game swing against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego. The Diamondbacks easily could be 5-0, but closer Paul Sewald gave up ninth-inning leads on Tuesday and Friday night in 6-5 and 10-8 defeats, respectively.

The Diamondbacks haven’t gotten more than 4 2/3 innings from a starter on the road trip. They hope right-hander Ryne Nelson (5-6, 5.42 ERA) can give them the length they need Sunday to take some pressure off a heavily-taxed bullpen.

Nelson allowed one run in five innings Tuesday night against Los Angeles after following opener Joe Mantiply to the mound. Nelson is 1-1 in two starts against the Padres this year, absorbing a 10-3 loss last month in Petco Park.

San Diego will hand the ball to right-hander Dylan Cease (7-7, 4.24 ERA), who continued his recent pattern of inconsistency Tuesday night when he gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-0 loss to the host Texas Rangers.

Cease, who in his previous start threw seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in an 8-5 win over Washington on June 26, bagged a 7-1 win on May 3 in his only start this year against Arizona. But he’s just 2-5 in his last seven decisions.

The Padres need more from Cease, the most accomplished starter in a rotation that currently lacks its No. 1 and 2 starters. Joe Musgrove is on the injured list, and Yu Darvish, who has been out for more than a month, will hit the restricted list with what club officials on Saturday termed a personal matter involving his family.

“(Darvish) wants to make sure everybody knows he’s physically in a good spot and he’s still working on his craft, but he is going to step away right now and deal with some things on a personal level,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “We’re going to love and support him.”

The 37-year-old Darvish (groin strain, right elbow inflammation) is 4-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 11 starts this season.

–Field Level Media

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