D-backs get back on track behind Corbin

Lefty moves to 4-0 behind six-run second in San Diego

D-backs get back on track behind Corbin

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs needed one like this.

It wasn't just that they had lost four straight, but with seemingly every game coming down to the wire, they needed a no-doubter.

That's exactly what they got Saturday night as they parlayed a six-run second inning into an 8-1 win over the Padres at Petco Park.

Of Arizona's 29 previous games, 21 were decided by two runs or fewer, making for a lot of high-stress innings and a weary bullpen.

"Getting up on a team good and playing with a good lead was a nice change of pace for us," said outfielder A.J. Pollock, who went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, reaching base four times from the leadoff spot. "Kind of get everybody relaxed. We enjoyed it. Winning close games is good, but sometimes you need to just relax, everyone breathe and just get the win."

This one went the D-backs way early on when they sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits in the second inning against Clayton Richard.

"Well, that was ugly," Richard said. "They took advantage of balls that were up or out over the plate and strung together a whole bunch of hits. They really took advantage of that inning."

Richard (0-4) had been a Snake charmer prior to that, putting together a 6-0 record in eight career starts against Arizona.

"Richard was a little different. He was leaving some balls up and out over the plate and we were patient and got some walks," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Then when he threw the ball over the plate, we had some good swings."

Josh Wilson, Cliff Pennington and Paul Goldschmidt each had an RBI during the second inning, while Pollock plated a pair with a ground-rule double to right-center.

It was a continuation of the struggles Richard has had to endure of late. The left-hander has now given up 16 earned runs over his last three starts.

Meanwhile, D-backs southpaw Patrick Corbin continued his outstanding start to the season.

Corbin (4-0) allowed one run -- a seventh-inning homer by Chris Denorfia -- over seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.80.

"His sinker was good, his slider, everything," catcher Wil Nieves said. "He was just getting ahead of the hitters. He was able to throw anything in any count, so it was fun catching him tonight. He was just on. His slider was real sharp."

In all six of his starts this year, Corbin has worked six or more innings and allowed two runs or fewer, tying him with Dan Haren for the longest such streak to start a season in franchise history.

"I just felt like I could go out there and throw anything I wanted," Corbin said. "When you have that lead, you have in the back of your head that you can go after these guys a little more. I just wanted to keep my pitch count low and make sure I got deep in the game to help the bullpen out."

Corbin beat out Tyler Skaggs and Randall Delgado this spring for a spot in the rotation, and he has not looked back, pitching more like the team's ace than its No. 5 starter.

"I just want to keep this up," Corbin said. "I know I've got a lot of starts left, and that's one thing I don't want to fatigue or anything like that. So I just want to keep doing what I've been doing and prepare for my next start."

Things got a little dicey in the eighth when the Padres loaded the bases with one out against reliever Tony Sipp.

Gibson went to former Padres right-hander Heath Bell, and he got Jedd Gyorko to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"He did a great job," Nieves said of Bell. "He got the guy 3-2 and threw a nice fastball down and a way, and the guy hit it for a double play. It was a huge double play for us."

Bell saved 134 games for the Padres from 2007-11 before departing to Miami via free agency in 2012. Apparently the fans in San Diego were unhappy with that decision, as they booed him when he came into the game.

"Bases loaded, I knew we were up big, so really for me it was like nobody was on -- just get the batter," said Bell, who also fanned two in a perfect ninth. "Everything was focused on getting the batter out. It was really nice to get that ground-ball double play."

Not to mention a win with some breathing room.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.