SAN DIEGO (AP) — The way the San Diego Padres have been struggling offensively, it seemed fitting the ball didn't leave the infield on the play that carried them to victory against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cameron Maybin reached base after an overturned umpire's call, then scored on Yonder Alonso's slow grounder with one out in the ninth inning to give the Padres a 4-3 win Sunday that stopped a four-game losing streak.
It was a perfect combination for the Padres — the speedy Maybin at third base, left-hander Oliver Perez on the mound, one out and the infield in, a ball that went just the right distance and another winning challenge by manager Bud Black.
Maybin broke for home as Alonso hit a dribbler down the first-base line. Paul Goldschmidt barehanded it and threw home, but Maybin had already slid across with the winning run.
"With a lefty pitcher there, I'm able to get a little bit bigger lead than usual," said Maybin, who was reinstated from the disabled list a week earlier. "And it was just a situation, man, where if it was a line drive I probably was going to get doubled up. I was going on the swing even more so than contact, so it worked out. It was probably the shortest RBI he ever had."
Said Alonso: "It could have gone 10 feet, and Cam would have scored. I know with Cam running, anything's possible in this game. My approach the whole time was just get it done. Whatever you do, don't strike out. Put the ball in play."
Even with all the factors turning out right, Black said it was "a pretty standard procedure in that situation, game-winning run. Worse-case scenario is out at home, then you still have first and third with two outs. The proper grounder was hit, where it was not smoked, Cam had a good secondary lead, reacted to the swing in the hitting area as instructed, and beat the play."
Maybin started the winning rally with a chopper to second off Perez (0-1). He initially was called out, but Black challenged and the call was changed to safe, giving Maybin an infield single and making Black 2 for 2 in challenges Sunday and 4 for 4 this season. Rene Rivera, who earlier hit a two-run double, doubled over right fielder Gerardo Parra to move Maybin to third.
"I wasn't a big fan at first," Maybin said of the new replay system. "But it worked out."
Said Black: "Those are close plays. In 2014, that's the beauty of replay, the technology."
The Padres scored their most runs in five games.
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