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Volquez strikes out eight in seven innings

SAN DIEGO -- The game effectively ended Tuesday when Chris Young of the D-backs hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning against former teammate, Padres reliever Micah Owings.

But to hear Padres left fielder Jesus Guzman explain it, that sequence in extra innings wasn't at all the determining factor that led to the Padres' 4-2 loss to the D-backs in front of 18,652 at Petco Park.

"We lost the game in the first three innings," Guzman said, flatly.

Young's home run sent the Padres to already their fourth loss at home in five games. But where Guzman thought the game was lost was in the early part of the game when Trevor Cahill, making his Arizona debut, walked five in the first two innings.

Five walks, but no Padres runs.

"We couldn't get the hit, the big hit," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Cahill gave us the opportunity with the base on balls. But when we had some runners out there, he seemed to make a pitch."

Cahill ended up walking six in six innings but allowed one run on two hits to the Padres (1-4). Cahill left with a lead, but the Padres rallied to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Orlando Hudson led off the inning with a triple off D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler and then scored when Jason Bartlett followed with an RBI single to left-center field. But Bartlett was then thrown at second when he tried to stretch his single into a double.

"He ran hard out of the box ... which is what you want him to do," Black said. "He's looking at the play right in front of him. If it works, it's a great baseball play. If it doesn't, then you're asking me questions about it."

The Padres got the leadoff runners on in the ninth inning when Nick Hundley walked. But Hudson was not able to get a bunt down in two attempts, popping up in foul territory to Ryan Roberts, the D-backs third baseman. That loomed big when, two batters later, pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia singled.

In the 11th inning, Owings hit Gerardo Parra with a pitch to start the inning. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson contemplated having Young bunt in that situation but allowed him to hit. Young then drove a first-pitch slider from Owings over the wall in left field as the D-backs (4-0) broke the tie.

"I'm glad he [Gibson] decided not to [bunt]. I mean it would have been completely fine if he had told me to," Young said. "I don't know if there's a right or wrong call. Luckily I was able to square one up and not make a fool of myself."

The loss spoiled a strong effort by Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez, who struck out eight and had three walks with two runs allowed two runs over seven innings. Volquez, who walked four in an Opening Day loss to the Dodgers, had better command of his curveball in this start.

"I thought his stuff was great ... good fastball, good curveball, a nice three-pitch mix," Black said. "Seven innings and two runs? If he does that, he's going to win a few games."

Volquez might well have won this game had he not started slowly and had he not been nearly maimed by a broken bat by Miguel Montero in the first inning.

With two outs and a runner on first, Volquez was able to break Montero's bat on an 83 mph changeup. The ball went to first baseman Yonder Alonso but Volquez, who was trying to duck the shrapnel of the broken bat, got a late start to cover first base. Montero beat him to the bag for an infield single.

"It scared me," Volquez said of the bat. "I was afraid a little. It just froze me."

Instead of being out of the inning, Volquez had to face Paul Goldschmidt, who doubled in two runs for a 2-0 lead.

Volquez allowed two more hits over his final six innings, marking the second time in as many starts that the Padres have gotten seven innings from their starting pitcher.

"I think I got better late in the game," Volquez said. Comments