SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rod Barajas lost his debut as San Diego’s interim manager, falling 4-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night as former Padres player Abraham Almonte had three hits and scored three runs.
Barajas was promoted from bench coach earlier in the day to replace Andy Green, who was fired because of the Padres’ second-half slide. The Padres were 45-45 at the All-Star break but have skidded to 69-86.
Barajas is a former big league catcher who spent his first five seasons with the Diamondbacks.
The managerial change didn’t stop the Padres’ skid as they lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Arizona remained tied with Philadelphia, five games behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card and also needing to overtake the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. The Diamondbacks have won five of their last seven games after losing six straight.
The Padres closed to 4-2 in the eighth on Eric Hosmer’s two-out RBI single. They had runners on first and second when Archie Bradley came on and hit Hunter Renfroe with his first pitch before striking out Francisco Mejia to get out of the jam.
Bradley allowed one hit in the scoreless ninth to finish the four-out save, his 16th.
Almonte broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth when he scored on a grounder to third baseman Manny Machado, who chose to throw to first for the second out rather than trying to get Almonte at home or throw to second to try for an inning-ending double play.
Almonte tripled on rookie Cal Quantrill’s first pitch of the game and scored on Domingo Leyba’s sacrifice fly. He also came up big in the two-run eighth, doubling with two outs and scoring on Leyba’s double. Eduardo Escobar followed with an RBI single.
Renfroe hit a leadoff homer in the fifth, his 33rd.
Taylor Clarke (5-5) pitched three innings for the win, holding San Diego to one run and two hits. Diamondbacks opener Luke Weaver pitched two perfect innings, with one strikeout.
Quantrill allowed one run and two hits in five innings, with six strikeouts and no walks. Matt Strahm (5-10) took the loss.
Diamondbacks: RHP Robbie Ray (12-8, 4.20) is scheduled to start the series finale. He took the loss at Petco Park on April 3 in his lone start against the Padres this season.
Padres: RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 7.36) is scheduled to make his Petco Park debut. On Monday, he made his first start since July 10, 2018, against Seattle while with the Angels. He then underwent Tommy John surgery.