Kim, Cronenworth and Higashioka homer to back Waldron in the Padres' 13-1 win against Arizona

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Knuckleballer Matt Waldron combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, and Ha-Seong-Kim and Jake Cronenworth each hit a three-run homer for the San Diego Padres in a 13-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

Kyle Higashioka hit a solo homer. David Peralta, who spent his first 8 1/2 seasons with the Diamondbacks, reached base five straight times and had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice. Cronenworth also had an RBI single to tie his season high.

The Diamondbacks turned to outfielder Pavin Smith to pitch the eighth. He hit Peralta with a pitch, walked Jackson Merrill, retired Kim and then watched first baseman Christian Walker commit an error that loaded the bases. He got out of the jam but inducing Luis Arraez to hit into a double play.

Tatis walked in the second to extend his streak of reaching base to 18 games, one shy of his career best. He doubled in the fourth to match his career-best hitting streak of 14 games and was aboard for Cronenworth’s homer.

Waldron (4-5) was perfect through the fourth before allowing the first four batters to reach in the fifth. He loaded the bases on a double by Walker, a single by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a walk to Blaze Alexander, before Eugenio Suárez singled to left.

Pitching coach Ruben Niebla came out for a mound visit before Suárez's at-bat.

“He was pretty much like going through the game plan of what we were going to do to this game, but also, 'One more hit, two more hits, and you're out of the game.' Which was great," Waldron said. "I like to know what they're talking about. It made me more hungry. I wanted to get another one and that was a perfect opportunity. I couldn't let it slide by.”

Waldron got three quick outs and got to pitch another inning.

Waldron had to wait through three four-run innings as the Padres reached double digits in scoring for the second straight night.

“I felt very locked in,” he said. "I do think sitting a lot affected me just a little bit. But that run support helps so much. It really does.

The Padres have put on power displays and gotten great pitching in routing the Diamondbacks in the first two games of this series after coming in on a five-game losing streak after being swept at the Los Angeles Angels.

“It doesn't really surprise me because I look around at who've we got. It's awesome,” Waldron said.

The 27-year-old Waldron, in his second big league season, held the Diamondbacks to one run and three hits in six innings, struck out four and walked two.

Rookie Stephen Kolek allowed one hit in two innings and Jhony Brito allowed one hit in one inning.

Kim's homer highlighted the four-run second inning against Ryne Nelson (3-5). It was his second homer in as many nights and his ninth overall. He hit a two-run shot in a 10-3 win Friday night.

“I wouldn't say I figured out anything special, but I'm just trying to focus on getting the barrel to the ball and I feel like that's brought me the results," Kim said through an interpreter.

Nelson allowed Tatis' double with one out in the fourth and walked Jurickson Profar before making way for Logan Allen. Cronenworth drove Allen's first pitch to straightaway center, his ninth. Merrill, a rookie, hit an RBI double, giving him his first game with multiple extra-base hits.

Manager Mike Shildt said the Padres have found a "sweet spot of being able to do a lot of different things offensively, you know, base hits, doubles, and of course three homers help as well. We've had a good blend of it, and then we got into a stretch where we were still getting hits but we weren't doing damage. Now we're back to that spot where we're doing damage and still getting our hits, using the whole field.

“Clearly it's a good brand of baseball.”

Nelson allowed six runs, five earned, and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out one.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks RHP Scott McGough (1-3, 6.75 ERA) will be the opener in Sunday's series finale. The Padres will counter with RHP Adam Mazur (0-0, 1.50), who will make his second big league start.

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