SAN DIEGO — The deflated Arizona Diamondbacks concluded their disappointing September with a late miscue.
Manuel Margot scored on a dropped third strike in the 10th inning to lift the San Diego Padres past Arizona 4-3 on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks, a playoff team last year who led the NL West on the first day of every month this season, ran out of steam to finish in third place, nine games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. The last-place Padres (66-96) took two of three from Arizona to close the season.
Margot, who also homered on a 3-for-5 afternoon, reached in the 10th on his career-high eighth triple. When Jake Barrett (0-1) struck out pinch-hitter Francisco Mejia and the ball got away from John Ryan Murphy, Margot raced home on Murphy’s throw to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The relay back to home was tardy.
Arizona went ahead 3-2 in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Socrates Brito, but the Padres tied it 3-3 on Eric Hosmer‘s bloop single to left. Jose Castillo (3-3) pitched the 10th for the win.
Arizona went 8-19 in September to finish 82-80, salvaging a winning record for the second consecutive year.
“I think that is something,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said earlier in the series. “When it’s all said and done after the month that we had, it is really positive and a good way to finish.”
The Padres, who spent all but four days in the NL West basement, again look ahead to better days. It was their eighth straight losing season and their third straight year with at least 91 losses.
“From our standpoint, we expect to be a lot better,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said before the game. “I don’t get too much into a number goal from a win standpoint. I think from out standpoint next year, we’re going to start to compete. You’ve got to get over .500 to do that. We’re going to come in next year and not try to put a ceiling on anything. We expect to be a lot better here moving forward and I think the guys in that room understand that and believe that as well.”
Margot was thrown at the plate by Goldschmidt in the eighth when trying to advance on Marte’s throwing error.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray pitched four-plus innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out eight.
Joey Lucchesi was surrendered two runs and four hits over six innings. The rookie’s eight strikeouts were one off his career high.
Steven Souza’s first career pinch-hit home run tied it 2-2 in the sixth.
With Freddy Galvis and Wil Myers aboard on singles in the fifth, right fielder Brito dropped to one knee while trying to find the ball in the sun. Instead it landed beside him, with Galvis scoring for a 2-1 Padres advantage.
Margot homered in the second, and the Diamondbacks pulled even when Marte connected in the fourth.
Diamondbacks open next season in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.