SAN DIEGO -- What began with a misunderstanding ended with an avalanche of trouble for the Diamondbacks.
Benches cleared and bullpens emptied after D-backs center fielder Chris Young was buzzed by a high-and-tight fastball in the top of the eighth inning Friday night. After order was restored, the real damage in the Padres' eventual 7-1 victory began.
It started when D-backs rookie Wade Miley, who could have thrown the ball through the eye of a needle most of the night, made the one pitch he would have taken back, a high changeup to pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman.
Guzman hit it for a two-run homer to break a 1-1 tie with one out in the last of the eighth, and the Padres added four more runs in the frame to put the game away. Three were charged to reliever David Hernandez, who did not retire any of the four batters he faced after replacing Miley, and one came in when Justin Upton dropped a sacrifice fly in right field to allow a second run to score on the play.
Wade threw the ball great. He made one mistake. After that, it was disappointing, manager Kirk Gibson said.
The pitchers' duel between Miley and San Diegos Clayton Richard heated up in the eighth, when Padres reliever Andrew Cashner threw Young a 3-2 fastball that was quite a bit inside. Young went to his knees as the ball went to the backstop, then appeared to stare at Cashner as he walked toward first base.
That's what Cashner thought, anyway, so he yelled at Young, and Young yelled back. Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso, first-base umpire Todd Tichenor and D-backs first-base coach Eric Young restrained Young as both benches and bullpens ran onto the field. Gibson and D-backs hitting coach Don Baylor were on the field, too. No punches were thrown, and play resumed after a short delay.
Young was thrown out attempting to steal second base to end the inning before the Padres took control in their half.
The whole brouhaha was simply a misunderstanding, Young said afterward.
"I was just looking at the signs from Matty (third-base coach Matt Williams), Young said.
"Initially, I didnt think nothing of it (pitch). I just thought Id take the walk and pick up the signs and see what happened next, and I heard him say something to me. I just responded, and that was it. He asked me what I was looking at. I tried to tell him what I was looking at."
Cashner can be wild, and on a 3-2 count, Young did not believe the pitch was intentionally close.
You would think he is trying to throw strikes. Thats how I took it. I didnt think anything of it when it happened. I guess he did, Young said.
Cashner was not in the San Diego clubhouse when reporters arrived.
"'C.Y.' is not going to back down, and it didnt look like he (Cashner) wanted to back down either," said Willie Bloomquist, who had his seventh multi-hit game in his last 12 with two singles Friday night. "If something sparks, we are not going to sit on our hands."
Added Young: "It probably gave both teams a little bit of energy. I dont think it affected the result of the game."
Miley (6-2) could not have pitched much better. He pounded the strike zone all game, starting with a seven-pitch first inning. Only 18 of 81 his pitches were balls, and he never got to a three-ball count in his 7 13 innings. The Padres, in fact, had only two two-ball counts.
"He threw the ball great," Bloomquist said of Miley. "He works quick. His tempo is good. Its fun to play behind him. You dont get heavy feet. Hes working at a fast pace and throwing strikes and getting ground balls. He didnt see him miss too many spots tonight. Its unfortunate we didnt get him a few more runs."
Padres second baseman Alexi Amarista, who took over when Orlando Hudson was released two weeks ago, was Mileys only thorn. Amarista lined a triple to left field that Gerardo Parra could not quite reach with one out in the third inning, and Richards weak grounder to second was enough to score the fleet Amarista even though the infield was in. That tied the score after Miguel Monteros RBI single in the top of the third had given the D-backs a 1-0 lead.
Amarista also beat out a bunt single down the first-base line with one out in the eighth to spark the Padres' big inning.
"It kind of unraveled pretty quick there," Bloomquist said,
The D-backs again could not get the key hit, going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. After Monteros single in the third, Young left two on when he flew to left to end the inning. Paul Goldschmidt, who had two hits, did not move after his leadoff double in the fourth. Miley and Bloomquist had two-out singles in the seventh before reliever Luke Gregerson got Aaron Hill to ground out.
"There are a number of things I can point to that we aren't doing real well," Bloomquist said. "I dont know how many big innings we (allowed) last year, but it sure seemed like once they got started, they stopped pretty quick.
"On the other hand, we got a lot more timely hits last year, too, and we had the leads in games instead of playing (from behind). Obviously, when you have that lead late in the game, you have a little bit more adrenaline going, a lot of momentum."