SAN DIEGO -- Wil Myers and Austin Hedges went deep, giving veteran left-hander Clayton Richard all the support he needed, as the Padres -- behind a four-strikeout seventh inning -- beat the D-backs, 4-1, on Thursday night.
Myers got San Diego on the board with a solo shot in the first, extending his hitting streak to a National League-leading 11 games, before Hedges tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. In between, Erick Aybar's two-run fifth-inning double put the Padres in front for good.
Richard -- who didn't live off the ground ball as much as he had during his first three starts -- allowed one run over 6 2/3 frames, while striking out eight. D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin also struck out eight, while allowing three runs over six innings.
"The guys that we have in this lineup, the guys that we have out there grinding every single day are really good hitters," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think their pitchers over the course of the last couple of days deserve a lot of credit for shutting down a good offensive team."
Offensively, Nick Ahmed knocked in the only run of the game for Arizona, an RBI single in the second. The D-backs consistently threatened the rest of the night, but Richard was up for the challenge, stranding runners in five innings. It was precisely the type of effort the Padres hoped for when they re-signed Richard to a one-year deal during the offseason.
"He's poised, he's confident, he competes, he's a team leader," said Padres manager Andy Green. "It doesn't take a genius to want all those things back. It just takes some close proximity to realize he has all those things."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Four-strikeout frame: Richard opened the seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts, before A.J. Pollock chased the left-hander from the game with a double. The Padres called on Brad Hand, who promptly whiffed Chris Owings on a slider in the dirt. But Hedges' throw to first sailed high, putting men on the corners for Paul Goldschmidt. Hand was unfazed. He got Goldschmidt to chase the same pitch -- and this time, Hedges' throw was right on the money. More >
"Today, myself included as much as anyone, wasn't able to come through," Goldschmidt said. More >
Aybar takes the fifth: After a brilliant defensive play in the top half of the frame, Aybar came to bat with two on in the bottom of the fifth. He shot a double into the left-field corner, plating Yangervis Solarte and Hedges, who led off the frame with back-to-back hits. Aybar's clutch double came on the heels of his game-winning homer Wednesday off D-backs ace Zack Greinke.
"We always knew Erick Aybar wasn't going to hit .130," said Green. "You look back at his track record and know he's going to get some hits. He's been doing it for a really long time. … The glove's always been there."
"He works quick, throws strikes, doesn't walk a ton of guys. Those are the types of guys you want to play behind." -- Myers on Richard
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: The D-backs return home after a 10-game, 11-day swing through California to play host to the Dodgers at 6:40 p.m. MST. Taijuan Walker, who was impressive in his last start, which was also against the Dodgers, will take the mound for Arizona.
Padres: The Padres and Marlins will open a three-game series Friday, with first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT. Lifelong Padres fan Trevor Cahill is slated to make his first start at Petco Park since joining the club on a one-year deal during the offseason.