PHOENIX (AP) — Add a dramatic ninth-inning moment to what's looking more and more like a breakout season for A.J. Pollock.
The young center fielder, in his second full big league season, hit a two-out, two-run homer on the first pitch he saw in the ninth to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 7-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.
"We were standing there and we were saying 'Let's walk them off, let's walk them off," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said, "and he crushed the ball."
It was the first game-ending homer of Pollock's career.
"A really cool feeling," Pollock said. "That's what you do. You come in here every day and put a lot of swings in the cages and you work hard and it's really cool when you actually get up there when the team needs you in late innings and be able to win a game."
Pollock, hitless in his first 13 at-bats this season, went 3 for 5 to bring his season average to .296. In his last 26 games, Pollock is batting .341 (31 for 91) with five doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs.
"He's just super-talented," teammate Cody Ross said. "He's got all the tools to be a great player and you can see that he's getting comfortable."
With their fifth loss in seven games, the Padres are just 2½ games ahead of last-place Arizona in the NL West.
Cliff Pennington was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Eric Chavez hit into a fielder's choice ahead of Pollock's soaring homer to center off Kevin Quackenbush (0-1).
Pollock said the pitch "was probably a little out of the zone, but I just wanted to be aggressive."
Yonder Alonso homered and Everth Cabrera launched a three-run shot off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy in the fifth inning to give San Diego a 4-2 lead.
Martin Prado doubled in a run and singled for the Diamondbacks, just back from a 2-4 road trip and opening a seven-game home stand.
Brad Ziegler (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win.
"Great game, no doubt about that," Padres manager Bud Black said. "High intensity on both ends. We got back in the game after two nothing with a big inning. They bounced back, we bounced back with a home run. ... They got the last at-bat and put a good swing on a high fastball. "