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By two percentage points Cheap Customized Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys , the Arizona Diamondbacks are no longer in the lead in the NL West.

Losing six of seven at home will do that.

Eric Lauer limited Arizona to a run over five-plus innings, Austin Hedges homered for the first time since April 10 and the San Diego Padres opened a four-game series in the desert with a 6-3 victory over the slumping Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

The Diamondbacks fell to 1-6 in what will be a 10-game homestand and dropped into a virtual tie with the idle Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West. Arizona had been alone in first since June 8.

”We know that we are in a pennant race, if you want to call it that right now at the halfway point of the season,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ”I think we enjoy that part of the game. We know it is going to be a dogfight for the rest of the year.”

Wil Myers drove in two runs with a triple and single, and Carlos Asuaje reached base four times – a triple, RBI single and two walks – for the last-place Padres, winners for only the fourth time in 17 games.

”Offensively, I think Carlos Asuaje is probably the story of the day for us,” San Diego manager Andy Green said.

Shelby Miller (0-3) was better in his third start coming off Tommy John surgery, but still got the loss, allowing five runs – three earned – and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

”I feel good Jack Mewhort Jersey ,” Miller said. ”I think today the command was a little bit better. I would have liked to go out there and finish the sixth, put up a zero out there and get out of the game. Have us in a little better situation, 2-1 instead of 5-1, leaving that inning but we kind of beat ourselves that inning a little bit.”

Arizona’s Ketel Marte hit a two-run homer off Matt Strahm in the eighth.

Lauer, a 23-year-old left-hander, gave up seven hits – mostly to soft contact – walked two and hit a batter, but only one of those baserunners managed to score in his first win in four starts.

Brad Hand gave up an infield single, then struck out the next three in the ninth for his 24th save in 28 opportunities.

Miller, who had allowed 11 runs and 15 hits in 8 2/3 innings during his first two starts back from the surgery, got off to a rocky start in the first inning when the second batter, Asuaje Adidas Nico Hischier Jersey , tripled to deep center and scored on Myers’ single.

But the Arizona right-hander settled down, blanking the Padres for three innings before Hedges’ line shot into the left-field seats put San Diego up 2-1 in the fifth. Hedges missed 41 games with right elbow tendinitis before being reinstated on June 24.

An error by usually sure-handed shortstop Nick Ahmed led to two unearned runs in San Diego’s three-run sixth. Asuaje led off with an 11-pitch walk and scored when Myers tripled to deep right-center.

Ahmed muffed Eric Hosmer’s hard one-bouncer to allow Myers to score. Freddy Galvis‘ two-out single off reliever Andrew Chafin brought home Hosmer and the Padres led 5-1.

BIG PITCH

With runners at first and third and two outs in the fifth, Lauer struck out Paul Goldschmidt with a pitch that Green never had seen the pitcher throw: a cutter.

”It’s fun to watch a kid throw a pitch that you’ve never seen him throw before,” Green said. ”I haven’t seen the 90 mph cutter out of him before. If I haven’t seen it, Goldschmidt hasn’t seen it, either.”

Lauer said he has been working on the cutter as his slider evolved and was ”amped up” when he threw it to Goldschmidt.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: OF Steven Souza Jr. (right pectoral strain) was activated from the 10-day DL and OF Jarrod Dyson was placed on the DL with a strained right groin. Souza started in right field and went 0 for 3 at the plate with a walk in just his 15th game of the season. Dyson was injured in Arizona’s loss to St. Louis Wednesday night.

UP NEXT

Padres LHP Joey Lucchesi (4-3, 3.26 ERA) makes his fourth start since coming off the disabled list (right hip strain) and the Diamondbacks counter with RHP Zack Godley (9-6, 5.07) in the second game of the four-game series.




PHOENIX — Right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano has been spectacularly efficient in his first season in Arizona, part of the reason the Diamondbacks will enter their four-game series against the San Diego Padres with the best bullpen ERA in the majors.

Hirano may be a major league rookie, but his work the last five seasons as a closer with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan has translated well.

Hirano, 34 Niles Paul Jersey , had a franchise-record 26-game scoreless streak broken in an 8-4 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday, when he finished one scoreless appearance short of tying former Red Sox right-hander Koji Uehara for the longest such streak by a Japanese-born pitcher in major league history. Even that loss could not diminish the value Hirano has had this season.

Arizona right-hander Shelby Miller is scheduled to face San Diego left-hander Eric Lauer in the first game of the series Thursday.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo was Boston’s bench coach when Uehara set the record in 2013, so he can provide a comparison of Uehara and Hirano.

“They have the same work habits, which is pretty impressive,” Lovullo said. “They both come in and get their work done pregame. They come in and get their work done postgame. They find themselves healthy and strong and prepared for every single one of their outings.

“They both have a fearlessness to their game and an approach to understanding what needs to happen during each at-bat. They are not afraid to put the ball on the plate with two different pitches. They go out and expect to get outs. Very similar mind-set. Very similar makeup. Very similar confidence.”

Hirano is 2-0 with a 1.43 ERA in 42 appearances. He has 19 holds, fourth in the majors, and he has permitted only one of his 16 inherited runners to score while being primarily used in the seventh inning. Eighth-inning reliever Archie Bradley leads the majors with 22 holds and closer Brad Boxberger has 20 saves.

Uehara began the 2013 season in a similar setup role in the Boston bullpen before advancing to the closer’s role after injuries thinned the relief corps. He finished with 21 saves, a 1.09 ERA and an 0.57 WHIP.

“As soon as he became the closer, he gave off a certain edge and a certain confidence that was noticeable,” Lovullo said.

“It’s as close to a slam dunk, shut-down ninth-inning save as I’ve ever seen. He had this ability to collect outs and get through innings in 12 pitches or less. It was so quick DJ Moore Jersey , the ninth inning was over before it even started. It was a very comfortable setting for all of us. You played the Boston Red Sox in 2013 for eight innings because the ninth inning was over. That’s what I remember.”

Hirano has a 1.01 WHIP, fourth among major league relievers with at least 40 appearances.

“He’s been very versatile,” Lovullo said. “He’s unfazed by any role we have asked him to do. He can pitch in traffic. He can start clean innings. He can get left-handers and right-handers out.”

The Diamondbacks lost two of three to St. Louis and have dropped five of their past six games overall. They took two out of three games in their only other series against the Padres this season, also at Chase Field.

San Diego has slumped over the last 2 1/2 weeks. The Padres have lost three in a row and are 3-13 since beating Atlanta 9-3 behind left-hander Clayton Richard on June 15. They have scored 30 runs in their last 10 games.

“We’re not getting hits with runners in scoring position,” San Diego manager Andy Green told reporters after a two-game sweep in Oakland.

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is relax, go play baseball and enjoy what you’re doing. Then the hits start coming.”

Christian Villanueva hit his 17th homer for the Padres in a 4-2 loss to the A’s Wednesday.

Miller is 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA in two starts this season after returning from a 14-month absence following Tommy John surgery in last May, 2017. He has given up 15 hits and 11 runs in 8 2/3 innings.

Miller is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA in eight career appearances, including seven starts, against the Padres. He had a strong outing against them early last season, giving up four hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings in the third of his four starts before suffering the elbow injury.

Rookie Lauer joined the Padres’ rotation in late April and is 3-5 with a 5.08 ERA in 13 starts this season. He was 2-2 with a 2.76 ERA in six June starts and is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA in seven road starts.

He has never faced the Diamondbacks.

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