Jul/05/12 08:33 AM Filed in: Yasmani Grandal
PHOENIX — Right after Yasmani Grandal swung for strike two, a paper airplane came floating from the upper reaches of Chase Field and almost hit him, coming to rest between the batter and catcher Miguel Montero.
The next pitch, on an 0-2 count, Grandal air mailed one of his own, a pinch-hit two-run homer that propelled the San Diego Padres to an 8-6 victory Wednesday night and their first three-game sweep in Phoenix.
Grandal has now homered in four of his six hits. He already had become the seventh player since 1900 to homer in his first three hits. He hit David Hernandez’s pitch just over the right field fence. Justin Upton made a leaping try but the ball bounced off his glove.
“I can’t explain it, I really can’t,” manager Bud Black said of Grandal’s big hits.
Neither can Grandal.
“If I would have known that I would hit four home runs in five games, I would have said ‘No,’” he said. “Yeah, I’m definitely surprising myself. It’s unexplainable.”
He doesn’t mind setting the bar high for himself though.
“You need to make a statement when you come into the league,” Grandal said, “and I guess it’s working.”
Jason Kubel, who had a grand slam for Arizona in Tuesday night’s 9-5 loss, hit a three-run homer.
The Padres won their season-best fifth straight and earned their second three-game sweep of the year. Arizona has lost five in a row.
In front of 48,819 — Arizona’s first home sellout since the season opener — the Padres won their first series in Phoenix since May of 2009. Before this week, San Diego had gone 1-7 at Chase since then. A sweep was even more unlikely, given the history.
“Not that I’ve looked at records a great, I just know that our time here in my tenure and even prior to me, this has been a tough place for us to play,” Black said. “We just haven’t fared well here. I know that the Diamondbacks feel confident here. The years they’ve done very well they’ve always done very well at home.”
Luke Gregerson (2-0) struck out the only two batters he faced in the seventh to get the victory. Hernandez (1-2) took the loss.