D-backs fall on walk-off single in extra innings

D-backs fall on walk-off single in extra innings

D-backs fall on walk-off single in extra innings

SAN DIEGO -- For D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock, it was a helpless feeling.

When the ball left Jesus Guzman's bat in the 11th inning, Pollock saw the ball as it climbed through the air. Then it was gone in the twilight sky, and by the time he saw it again, the ball was bouncing over the wall for a ground-rule double.

The play helped lead the Padres past the D-backs, 3-2, in 11 innings Thursday afternoon at Petco Park.

"It just disappeared," Pollock said. "It was like going into a room and them shutting the lights off when someone throws a ball at you. I feel bad, because I'm out there trying to make a play for [pitcher Josh] Collmenter. It's pretty frustrating. But looking back on it I don't know what else I could have done.

"It's tough. I hate losing. I hate giving up runs for my team. But I wish there was something I could have done."

Tommy Medica led off the 11th by beating out a dribbler to the left of the mound, and he went to third on the ball that Pollock lost. After an intentional walk to Nick Hundley, Alexi Amarista ended the game with a single up the middle.

"I was waiting on the changeup and I got good contact," Amarista said.

Pollock's play will get most of the attention, as well another outing of poor command by D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill, but Pollock has been one of the best center fielders in the league this year -- according to advanced metrics -- and Cahill gave up just two runs.

No, the blame for this one falls squarely on the offense.

After seemingly scoring at will in Colorado at the beginning of this road trip, the bats went into a deep freeze in San Diego as the D-backs scored just seven runs in the four-game series with the Padres.

"Nine of 11 innings were three-and-out, so they weren't very good at-bats," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

In fact, after Martin Prado smacked a two-run homer to tie the game at 2 in the fourth, the D-backs did not get another baserunner the rest of the game as the Padres set down 24 batters in a row.

"I don't know what to tell you," Gibson said of the offensive struggles. "You have to ask them what the story was. We didn't swing the bats well."

So, what say you, Willie Bloomquist?

"If we could fix it, we would," Bloomquist said. "Obviously we're not swinging the bat real good right now and it's easy to sit there, point fingers and say we're having too many 1-2-3 innings; yeah, we know. But it's not like we're up there trying to go 1-2-3 every inning. It's a combination of we've seen some pretty good pitching, we've hit some balls hard and the ball just doesn't really go anywhere here.

"There's every excuse in the book you can think of, but we as hitters try not to use those. It's just one of those things; we're in a little bit of a funk swinging and we're [hoping to] get our way out of it."

Command, as is usually the case, was the biggest issue for Cahill. The right-hander managed to keep the Padres off the board other than two runs in the third, but he was not able to pitch deep into the game thanks to four walks and five hits, which helped to run up his pitch count.

Gibson pulled Cahill with two outs and a runner on third in the sixth, and lefty specialist Joe Thatcher retired Amarista.

"I didn't feel real great," Cahill said. "My command wasn't there. I tried my best to get through it. It was the story of the season, I guess. I walked too many guys, fell behind too much. I was able to kind of minimize. It's not really where I want to be, but it's kind of been the story the whole year."

The lack of output from the offense left the D-backs little margin for error in the 11th.

"In Colorado, we swung the bats great and we came here and they just shut us down," Gibson said. "It makes it real tough. You open yourself up to things like what happened in the last inning today."

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.