Bats sizzling, D-backs continue series vs. Padres

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The Arizona Diamondbacks’ once-slumbering offense appears to have awakened, and with it have come winning ways.

The Diamondbacks have won six of their past nine games to gain some ground in the National League West, and one common thread has been the big inning.

After putting up four runs in the eighth inning of a 5-1 win over the visiting San Diego Padres on Friday night, the Diamondbacks have managed at least one inning of three or more runs in each of their past five games.

On Saturday, they will face the slumping Padres again in hopes that their hitters will keep producing.

“We tacked on a bunch with some really good approaches,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after his team’s win on Friday.

In nine games since Aug. 5, the Arizona offense is averaging better than seven runs per game with a .301 average (98-for-326) as a team. The Diamondbacks have combined for 23 doubles and 14 home runs in that span.

Arizona left-hander Alex Young is scheduled to start on Saturday. Young (1-0, 4.66 ERA) is making his first start of 2020 after seven relief appearances.

In 15 career starts — all of them as a rookie in 2019 — Young is 7-5 with a 3.86 ERA. He will be making his first career start against the Padres.

San Diego is on its first three-game losing streak of the season, and of major concern is the status of closer Kirby Yates.

Yates threw sixth pitches in the eighth inning on Friday. The sixth one was a wild pitch, after which he immediately left the mound and headed to the dugout with a trainer.

Manager Jayce Tingler indicated that Yates could be out for some time and would undergo an MRI. He said Yates felt soreness in the back of his left elbow, and it’s been there for a little while.

“He came out of the game and said that each pitch, it was kind of tightening up on him,” Tingler said. “It’s been a little bit in his arm, it’s been his back. He’d been throwing the last couple of days … and we thought he was progressing.”

With Yates out, Tingler said his initial thought is that he will decide who will close out games on a case-by-case basis. Drew Pomeranz is 4-for-4 on save opportunities this season.

As for the offense, the Padres have scored just three total runs in their past three games, and they didn’t push across a run until the ninth inning on Friday.

“I don’t think concerned is the word. You go through parts of a season like this,” Tingler said. “Obviously (problems) get magnified in a short season.”

Right-hander Cal Quantrill is scheduled to pitch for the Padres on Saturday. Quantrill (2-0, 3.12 ERA) makes his first start of the season after three relief appearances.

He struck out three in three scoreless innings of relief in his last outing, Monday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Quantrill was credited with the decision in the Padres’ 2-1 win.

–Field Level Media

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