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Amarista's single in 11th lifts Padres over Diamondbacks

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The Canadian Press
9/26/2013 11:12:06 PM
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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres gave their fans some bonus baseball in the final home game at Petco Park.

Alexi Amarista hit an RBI single in the 11th inning Thursday night and the Padres outlasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2.

"I got a changeup," Amarista said of his clutch hit. "He threw me some fastballs, then I had to be ready for the changeup."

The victory gave the Padres a 45-36 record at Petco. It also marked their seventh home win in 10 games and elevated them to 12-5 in their last 17 in San Diego.

"Teams talk about liking to play at home," Padres Manager Bud Black said. "But you have to do it."

Tommy Medica led off the 11th with a swinging bunt down the third-base line for an infield single. Jesus Guzman batted for reliever Nick Vincent (6-3) and hit a ground-rule double that centre fielder A.J. Pollock misplayed just after the sun had set.

"It just disappeared," Pollock said. "It was like going into a room and them shutting the lights out on you."

Arizona Manager Kirk Gibson could tell Pollock was struggling to find the ball.

"I don't think he ever saw it," Gibson said. "It was just twilight. The ball went up and he didn't see it and was unable to catch up."

Josh Collmenter (5-5) intentionally walked Nick Hundley to load the bases and Amarista slapped a single through a drawn-in infield.

With the score tied at 2 and one out in the eighth, Mark Kotsay, playing in his last home game, had a chance to be the star.

Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez walked Jedd Gyorko and hit Chase Headley on the right foot, setting the stage for Kotsay. But Kotsay struck out, as did Hundley to end the threat.

"At least I went down swinging," Kotsay said. "It was scripted for (a hit) but I'm fine with that."

Arizona's Trevor Cahill worked 6 2-3 innings, giving way with Medica on third with two outs in a tie game. Cahill, who had won five straight starts, allowed two runs and five hits before being relieved by Joe Thatcher, the ex-Padre whom the Diamondbacks received for Ian Kennedy in a July trade.

Thatcher struck out Amarista swinging.

Padres starter Robbie Erlin allowed two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out seven in seven innings.

"That's the best his curve ball has been all season," Black said. "It had a good rotation and tight spin on it."

The Diamondbacks tied the score in the fourth inning when Martin Prado hit his 14th homer of the season. Paul Goldschmidt led off the inning with a single.

After the homer, Padres pitchers retired 24 straight batters to end the game.

"You know what that is?" Black asked. "That's great pitching. I know they didn't have many baserunners, but shoot."

NOTES: Goldschmidt singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. ... C Miguel Montero was given the day off as Tuffy Gosewisch got his 10th start of the season. ... Arizona GM Kevin Towers said the fate of his team's coaching staff will be determined soon after Sunday's final game. ... The Padres confirmed they are bringing back their coaching staff next season. ... Kotsay was honoured before the team's final home game. Kotsay, a 17-year pro, is retiring after Sunday's game. ... Padres SS Ronny Cedeno missed his third straight game after being beaned by Arizona's Heath Bell on Monday night.

Alexi Amarista (Photo: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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