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May 5, 2024 8:03 am

Luis Arraez, Padres hope for encore vs. Diamondbacks

Luis Arraez

Luis Arraez knows how to make a top-notch first impression.

The two-time batting champion became the first San Diego player to post four hits in his team debut. He will look for another solid outing when the Padres face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series.

Arraez arrived in Phoenix a little more than an hour before first pitch after being acquired from the Miami Marlins for four prospects. He served as the designated hitter and set the table as the leadoff hitter during a 13-1 victory.

“It means a lot when I see my name there, leadoff guy,” said Arraez, who scored twice and had one RBI. “And then when I hit my double, I said, ‘OK here we go.’ This is amazing. That was one of my dreams. I’m living my dream right now.”

That double, a liner to right, came on the second pitch Arraez saw as a member of the Padres.

In the third inning, he singled to left. One inning later, Arraez hit a soft liner over third for an RBI single.

In the seventh inning, Arraez dropped a bloop single into center field to start an inning in which the Padres scored eight times and sent 11 batters to the plate.

“It’s great to have him on our side,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said afterward. “Clearly, an amazing approach and I can see why he is the rightful moniker of ‘The Sprinkler.’

“You’re talking about he’s an artist and being able to put the ball in the whole field and hit it where it’s pitched. That was a sight to behold. What a talent.”

Arraez sparked the offense with his hitting display, and his production was contagious. San Diego racked up 18 hits while recording its season-high fourth straight win.

Ha-Seong Kim smacked a three-run homer and drove in four runs, Jurickson Profar had a two-run blast among his three hits and Manny Machado added three RBIs.

The Padres have outscored the Diamondbacks 20-2 over the first two games of the series.

Arizona has dropped three straight games and seven of its past nine.

The Diamondbacks pushed their lone run across with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Gabriel Moreno’s single.

“It’s obvious right now we’re grinding, things are not going well and we just aren’t getting the job done,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “You go to work and you have a bad week at work — it happens. But we’ve got to find a way to shorten up that gap, when we’re not playing good baseball, to find a way to win a game.”

San Diego’s Matt Waldron (1-3, 4.35 ERA) will start Sunday against Arizona’s Ryne Nelson (1-2, 4.60) in a battle of right-handers.

Nelson will be activated off the injured list prior to the game. He went on the shelf after being hit in the right elbow by a line drive off the bat of San Francisco’s Mike Yastrzemski on April 18.

Nelson, 26, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in his previous start, allowing one run and seven hits over six innings.

Nelson is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in five career starts against the Padres. Xander Bogaerts (3-for-7) has two homers off Nelson while Machado (3-for-12) and Jake Cronenworth (2-for-10) each have hit one.

Waldron, 27, lost to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday when he gave up four runs and six hits over six innings.

Waldron lost his lone career start against the Diamondbacks. He gave up five runs and five hits over five innings on Aug. 19 of last season.

–Field Level Media

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