SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jorge Alfaro hit a two-run, bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the San Diego Padres to a wild 6-5 comeback victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
The Padres, who fell behind 5-0 after five innings, pulled back into the game on three home runs against Merrill Kelly and then won it against Ian Kennedy in the ninth.
Kennedy (4-7) loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice, single and nine-pitch walk to Jose Azocar before Alfaro singled to center field to win it. The catcher, who came off the injured list on Monday, was mobbed by his teammates in shallow right field.
The Padres went from being booed earlier in the game to giving the fans something to cheer about.
“It means a lot to us. We never quit,” Alfaro said after San Diego’s 10th walk-off win this year. “We’re going to go out there and fight and compete every out, every pitch. We never quit.”
It was Alfaro’s fourth walk-off hit this season and seventh of his career, so he’s used to big moments.
“He certainly is not afraid of them and based on experience and success you wouldn’t think he would be,” manager Bob Melvin said. “In that position there there’s really nowhere to go for the pitcher. You want to get hopefully a fastball to hit and that’s what he got on the first pitch and didn’t try to do too much with it. It wasn’t going to take a homer to win the game. He was just trying to stay in the big part of the field and get the good part of the bat on it.”
Nick Martinez (4-3) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
The Diamondbacks seemed in control from the start. Josh Rojas homered on Joe Musgrove’s first pitch and Merrill Kelly retired his first 12 batters. Daulton Varsho and Christian Walker also homered for the Diamondbacks.
The Padres, though, snapped a three-game losing streak.
Kelly allowed four runs and three hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.
Kelly rolled through the first four innings and the Padres didn’t hit a ball out of the infield until the third, when they had three flyouts. They finally broke through when Josh Bell walked leading off the fifth and Jake Cronenworth followed with a two-run homer to right, his 14th. Kim Ha-seong then drove a shot to left, his eighth.
Bell homered to left-center leading off the seventh, his 17th.
The Diamondbacks chased Musgrove after just 4 1/3 innings.
Rojas hit a line shot to left on the game’s first pitch, his eighth. Sergio Alcántara, claimed off waivers from the Padres in early July, hit an RBI double in the fourth.
Arizona made it 5-0 in the fifth. Daulton Varsho hit a leadoff moonshot homer to right, his 21st, and Christian Walker followed two batters later with a homer to left, his 32nd. The next two batters reached and that was it for Musgrove. Tim Hill allowed Carson Kelly’s RBI groundout.
Musgrove allowed five runs, four earned, and nine hits. He struck out three and walked two.
YU’S 3K Ks
Padres RHP Yu Darvish was honored before the game for reaching the 3,000-strikeout mark in his professional career. He struck out nine in a 7-1 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night to reach 3,003. He had 1,250 in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and has 1,753 in the majors since coming to the United States in 2012.
Padres: Suspended SS Fernando Tatis Jr. had surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttache, the team physician for the Dodgers and the NFL’s Rams. Recovery is estimated at four to six months. His spring training could be delayed, but if all goes well, Tatis should be full strength by the time he’s done serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. … Wil Myers was grazed on the ear by a foul ball but was OK, Melvin said.
Arizona LHP Tommy Henry (3-3, 4.83 ERA) and Darvish (12-7, 3.26) are scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night.
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