Although the playoff chances for the Arizona Diamondbacks are slim this late in the season, it almost looked like they were turning things around after winning two in a row at home against the San Diego Padres.
As has been the story for much of the D-backs' season, the streak ended quickly.
The Diamondbacks lost 6-5 yesterday afternoon at Chase Field, as the D-backs dropped below .500 again -- with 74 wins and 75 losses -- after spending just one day with an even win/loss record.
The last time the Diamondbacks were above .500 -- from August 17 to August 26 -- the team dropped back down to an even record after being swept by the Padres in a three-game series. Their losing streak continued after that, when the D-backs were swept by the Cincinnati Reds.
Yesterday's exercise in flirting with mediocrity started off with the Pads' Jesus Guzman hitting a three-run homer off Tyler Skaggs in the top of the first inning. Aaron Hill responded with a homer of his own in the bottom-half of the inning, but there was no one on base.
Logan Forsythe increased the Padres' lead to 4-1 in the top of the second inning by driving in a run with a double, and the D'backs added another run off a Chris Johnson single for a 4-2 game after four.
Brad Bergensen replaced Skaggs in the sixth, and Bergensen gave up a pair of doubles that both scored runs for the Padres. In response, Paul Goldschmidt and Johnson each drove in a run off singles in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 6-4 game.
D-backs rookie Adam Eaton -- who's been spectacular in his brief stint in the majors -- hit his first career home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, to bring the Diamondbacks within one.
Brian Shaw and Matt Albers managed to give the Diamondbacks a chance in the ninth inning, as neither reliever gave up a run over a combined three innings of work.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Diamondbacks set up what appeared to be a sure win, or at least a run to tie. Chris Johnson hit a single, and Ryan Wheeler reached base on a fielder's choice -- but Johnson was safe at second due to a throwing error. Jason Kubel came in as a pinch-hitter, and drew a walk to load the bases.
The Diamondbacks were then in perfect position down one in the bottom of the ninth -- the bases were loaded with no outs. Any ball hit into the outfield -- an out or not -- would nearly assure a run.
Mike Jacobs -- who was just recently called up to the majors -- popped out in foul territory in the infield, which is exactly what the Diamondbacks did not want to happen.
Eaton then hit a ground ball in the infield, which the Padres threw home and forced out Johnson, making for a bases-loaded situation with two outs now.
In an ending that's almost expected this year, Hill struck out to end the game, with a one-run loss for the Diamondbacks.
The D-backs' chances of making the playoffs now sits at 1.4 percent.
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The Diamondbacks now head to Colorado to face off against the Rockies for four games. Wade Miley gets the start tonight against Drew Pomeranz. Game time is 5:10 p.m.