SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jason Marquis and Yasmani Grandal lifted the San Diego Padres to a place they haven't been in over two years — the .500 mark.
Grandal hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run fourth inning and the Padres improved to 34-34 with a 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
The last time the Padres were at .500 was April 10, 2011 — when they were 4-4. Their last day above .500 was the finale of the 2010 season, when they finished 90-72.
Jason Marquis (9-2) allowed three runs on three hits in 6 2-3 innings, winning his eighth straight decision to help the Padres extend their win streak to five. San Diego also pulled within three games of first-place Arizona in the NL West.
Huston Street, who came off the disabled list Friday, came on in the ninth and allowed one run but picked up his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
The Padres, who began the season 5-15, have strung together a 29-19 record since April 24th, tied for the second-best mark in the National League in that time. The St. Louis Cardinals have gone 32-16.
"It looks good on paper," manager Bud Black said of the team evening its record. "I think it sends a great message to our guys, it really does. They fought off some hard times in April to where we are now. So I'm very proud of them to get to .500. It's great. I think it proves that we can continue to play solid baseball."
For a while it looked as though the Padres were going to fall short of that elusive .500 goal after the Diamondbacks staked starter Wade Miley to a 3-0 lead through three innings — thanks in part to a two-run home run by Miguel Montero in the first inning.
Miley faced the minimum over the first three frames and had allowed only a walk to Grandal when Everth Cabrera led off the fourth with a single to right. Chris Denorfia followed with a hard shot to shortstop that Didi Gregorius misplayed for an error.
Chase Headley drove in San Diego's first run with a single to center. After Kyle Blanks reached on a fielder's choice, Logan Forsythe hit a sacrifice fly to score Denorfia. Jesus Guzman followed with a single to right, and Grandal, who served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, hit his first homer of the year — a 442-foot shot into the second deck in left field. That gave the Padres a 5-3 lead on five unearned runs.
"It felt great," said Grandal. "I've been having some good at-bats, squaring some balls up, but obviously the outcome had been different. But it felt so good to get that first home run out of the way."
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