Diamondbacks fall to Padres as division lead shrinks

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Andrew Chafin works against a San Diego Padres batter during the ninth inning at Petco Park. :Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

By Nick Piecoro | Arizona Republic

Christian Villanueva dumped a broken-bat base hit into left field and the Diamondbacks made their way slowly off the field. For the fourth time on this road trip – a three-city venture against three last-place teams – the Diamondbacks had lost, this time 7-6 to the San Diego Padres.

Through eight games, the Diamondbacks are 4-4 on the trip, which concludes on Sunday afternoon and, almost no matter the outcome of the finale, will be viewed as a disappointment. It represented the last extended stretch on the Diamondbacks’ schedule in which they were facing teams well outside the realm of contention.

Rather than building a buffer for September, the Diamondbacks have treaded water. It would be inaccurate to say they have dug themselves a hole – they left Petco Park on Saturday evening still a first-place team – but they certainly have made things more difficult. The Colorado Rockies, for example, were 3 1/2 games back when the trip began, but after beating the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, they moved within a half-game of first.

BOX SCORE:  Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6

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