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Moreno hits a grand slam to help the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 8-1 for a doubleheader sweep

Arizona Diamondbacks' Gabriel Moreno tosses his bat after hitting a grand slam during the seventh inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres, Saturday, Aug 19, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Brandon Sloter)

 Arizona Diamondbacks’ Gabriel Moreno tosses his bat after hitting a grand slam during the seventh inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres, Saturday, Aug 19, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Brandon Sloter)r)

BY RICHARD J. MARCUS contributing

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Gabriel Moreno hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to an 8-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday for a sweep of a day-night doubleheader.

Tommy Pham hit a two-run homer and tripled to lead the Diamondbacks to a 6-4 victory in the opener. The teams played two games Saturday with Hurricane Hilary expected to hit the Southern California region on Sunday.

The surging Diamondbacks (64-61) have won seven of their last nine games and pulled five games ahead of the Padres in the NL wild-card standings.

“Every game matters,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I’m really amplifying that message. Wins are really, really important right now. The guys have been fantastic at doing the little things.”


San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Alek Thomas (5) can't make the catch on a double hit by San Diego Padres' Jake Cronenworth as he nearly collides with left fielder Tommy Pham during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker follows the flight of his two-run home run off of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Austin Gomber in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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The slumping Padres (59-66) dropped to 3-4 on their current 10-game homestand and need a strong finish and some help to rally to a playoff berth. San Diego has lost six of its last nine games.

“It was a long, miserable day, certainly not what we expected, what we wanted,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin said. “But we’ve got to push forward.”

Padres ace Yu Darvish (8-9) took the loss in the second game, going five innings and giving up three runs and nine hits while striking out seven. It was Darvish’s ninth outing this season throwing 100 or more pitches.

Diamondbacks starter Scott McGough made it 2 1/3 innings and was removed in favor of reliever Bryce Jarvis (1-0), who made his third appearance of the season. Jarvis pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run and two hits.

“Really good. Happy it only took two outings,” Jarvis said of his first win. “I was happy to take the ball when they gave it to me.”

Both Christian Walker and Corbin Carroll went 3 for 4 for Arizona, but the big blow was Moreno’s seventh-inning grand slam to left field off Padres reliever Nick Martinez.

Arizona scored two in the second and never trailed. With one out and runners on second and third, Moreno grounded out to short, driving in Walker from third. Alek Thomas broke toward third on the throw to first and subsequently scored on first baseman Jake Cronenworth’s errant throw past third baseman Manny Machado.

“We put ourselves in this position and continue to,” Melvin said. “So just keep fighting till you get it right.”

The Padres’ Xander Bogaerts produced the loan run for Padres with his 13th homer, a 409-foot shot in the fifth inning into the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field.

In the first game, Pham — who has an 11-game hitting streak — drove a two-run shot in the fifth to left field to give the Diamondbacks a 5-3 lead. Ketel Marte walked prior to Pham’s 13th homer of the season.

“Two good hits, anybody would take those,” Pham said. “But I would like to try to stop unnecessarily wasting so many at-bats.”

Machado hit two solo homers in a losing cause. He connected in the first to left field and in the eighth to right. He has 23 homers for the season.

Arizona took a 3-2 lead in the third after Pham tripled to center and scored on Walker’s grounder to second.

Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly (10-5) gave up three runs and five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings for the win.

Paul Sewald earned his 26th save by blanking the Padres in the ninth despite giving up two walks and hitting a batter. With the bases loaded and two outs, Juan Soto hit a towering drive to the left field warning track to end the game.

“I thought it was a homer. Some of them travel, some of them don’t. I don’t know what the exit velocity was on that one, but from our vantage point we thought it was a home run,” Melvin said. “That’s kind of the story of our year at this point. We finally get to where we’re doing some damage late in games and getting great at-bats, putting pressure, whether it’s the closer or not. And it just comes up a little bit short.”

The Padres recalled knuckleballer Matt Waldron (0-2) from Triple-A El Paso to make a spot start. It was Waldron’s second career big league appearance. He lasted five innings, giving up five runs, five hits and striking out five.

Kelly gave up a homer to his first batter, Kim. It was Kim’s 16th home run of the season and fifth leadoff homer of his career. Later in the first, Machado homered for a 2-all tie.

“Obviously, the second pitch of the game goes over the fence is not ideal,” Kelly said. “I just keep going, just trying to keep executing pitches.”



Hurricane Hilary, which is currently south of San Diego, is projected to spawn a tropical storm that’s likely to make field conditions on Sunday unplayable. Both Los Angeles teams are also hosting doubleheaders Saturday instead of playing Sunday.


Pham got into an altercation with a spectator in the first inning while on the on-deck circle before his first at-bat. “I’m all about good banter. He stepped out of line,” Pham said, adding that the fan referred to him with an expletive.

“I don’t think that is acceptable, especially when you are so close to the on-deck circle,” Pham said.

A Padres spokesperson said no fans were ejected as a result of the verbal confrontation. Lovullo said of the altercation: “These fans are awful to Tommy. I hear some terrible things coming from the stands….It’s ugly and I have been uncomfortable with it from my vantage point.”


Padres: Machado served as the designated hitter in the first game because of a minor right elbow issue. He went 2 for 4 with two home runs. In the second game he was back at 3B.