Pavin Smith has been a bright spot during a truly dismal season for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 25-year-old rookie looks to follow up a career-best, four-RBI outing when the Diamondbacks host the San Diego Padres on Friday night in the second contest of a four-game series in Phoenix.
Smith went 3-for-5 on Thursday in Arizona’s 12-3 romp over the Padres, contributing a two-run double in a five-run third inning and a two-run single in a three-run fourth.
Smith had plenty of help as Arizona racked up 15 hits. Carson Kelly and Josh Rojas each went 4-for-5 with two RBIs while David Peralta added a two-run homer.
“It’s crazy how momentum works in this game,” Smith said during a postgame television interview. “We rode the wave tonight, and it was good to see a lot of guys have big games.”
Smith has played both outfield and first base for the Diamondbacks as injuries to outfielders Kole Calhoun and Ketel Marte and first baseman Christian Walker provided him with ample opportunities. Calhoun (left hamstring strain) went back on the injured list Thursday.
Smith is batting .273 with nine homers, 22 doubles and 40 RBIs in 103 games and is suddenly looking like a player Arizona can count on next season.
“Going out there every day has been my dream for so long,” Smith said. “To see it come to fruition is pretty awesome.”
Smith next will try to solve Blake Snell on Friday. The Padres left-hander dominated the Diamondbacks on Sunday en route to a 2-0 win in San Diego.
Snell matched his career best of 13 strikeouts and allowed just two hits and three walks over seven innings. Smith went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Snell has won three of his past four starts. He allowed just two runs and 11 hits in the three wins during the stretch.
“We need Blake to step up and have a good one (Friday) and kind of continue what he’s been doing the last couple (starts),” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after his team’s Thursday loss.
Snell (6-4, 4.86 ERA) hasn’t allowed a run in 17 2/3 innings over three career starts against the Diamondbacks. In two starts vs. Arizona this season, the 28-year-old has struck out 21 and given up six hits in 11 2/3 innings.
Marte is 1-for-11 against Snell, while Walker is hitless in eight at-bats.
Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-7, 4.42 ERA) will again match up against Snell. The 32-year-old allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings in Sunday’s loss.
Jake Cronenworth was troublesome for Bumgarner. Cronenworth had a run-scoring single in the first inning and smacked a solo homer in the fourth.
It was the fifth straight outing in which Bumgarner gave up two or fewer earned runs. He is 2-2 with a 1.97 ERA during that period.
Bumgarner is 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two starts against the Padres this season. He is 13-13 with a 3.76 ERA in 39 career starts and one relief appearance versus San Diego.
Wil Myers (10-for-53, 16 strikeouts) has hit five homers off Bumgarner. Tommy Pham is hitless in 13 at-bats.
The Padres had nine hits in their Thursday loss. Cronenworth had three and Pham had two.
San Diego ace Yu Darvish left the game after 2 2/3 innings due to lower-back tightness. Tingler was unsure if Darvish would make or miss his next start.
“It’s not like Darvish is done for the year or anything,” Tingler said. “We’ll see how he responds and go from there.”
Tingler said it remains unclear if National League MVP candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. (dislocated left shoulder) will be activated during the current series. Tatis has been sidelined since July 31.
The Padres are considering using Tatis in right field as opposed to shortstop when he returns. The thinking is that playing the outfield will help protect the shoulder Tatis has hurt four times in less than five months.
–Field Level Media