After Cashner reached the 88-pitch mark following five innings, Padres' manager Bud Black told him that he was done for the night. Cashner, however, wasn't interested in hearing it.
"He pleaded after the fifth to keep going," Black said.
Cashner wasn't around for the end of the D-backs' 5-2 victory over the Padres before a crowd of 30,583 at Chase Field, a victory punctuated by a three-run home run by Didi Gregorius in the eighth inning, but there was plenty of reason for optimism for Black, Cashner and the Padres.
Cashner, who missed 51 games with right shoulder soreness, allowed two runs on seven hits over those five innings. He walked two and struck out one, despite not having what he considered his best location, especially early on.
"Tonight was a big grind for me," he said.
The plan was to have Cashner throw between 70 and 90 pitches and he did that, though Cashner felt he was just starting to find something after a slow start when Black told him his night was over.
"I never want to give up the ball," Cashner said. "I feel like the day you give up the baseball is the day you give up your job."
That's not going to happen anytime soon, as the Padres have been patiently waiting for Cashner -- their Opening Day starter -- to get back in the rotation.
Cashner allowed a run in the first inning, as he opened the game by allowing consecutive hits, including an RBI single to Cliff Pennington. Cashner, who mostly used his fastball and changeup in his two rehab outings before this start, showed a fastball that, at times, hit 97 mph, but mostly sat around 94 mph.
"The start was a little rocky, he fell behind some hitters and the command of his fastball wasn't there," Black said. "He struggled early then righted the ship. Cash competed."
The Padres (59-69) had trouble doing so against D-backs pitcher Vidal Nuno, who took a one-hit shutout into the eighth inning.
But Nuno wavered in that inning, hitting Rymer Liriano with a pitch and, one out later, allowing a single to Cameron Maybin. Finally, he walked Alexi Amarista to load the bases, thus ending his night.
The D-backs (55-75) brought in Oliver Perez, who struck out pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko and got ahead of the next batter, Yangervis Solarte, 0-2. But Solarte banged a two-run single up the middle to tie the game.
"He made a bad two-strike pitch to Solarte," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
It didn't stay tied long.
Rookie reliever Kevin Quackenbush walked Andy Marte with one out and then allowed a single to Jake Lamb, who hit his first big league home run earlier in the game. He got ahead of Gregorius 0-2, though he couldn't get a fastball in on the hands of Gregorius enough, as the ball sailed over the right-field wall.
"I just missed my spot," Quackenbush said.