• Patrick Corbin on mistakes vs. Padres

    Patrick Corbin on mistakes vs. Padres

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' loss to Padres

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ loss to Padres

  • Taijuan Walker on shaky outing vs. Giants

    Taijuan Walker on shaky outing vs. Giants

  • Torey Lovullo after loss to Giants

    Torey Lovullo after loss to Giants

  • Zack Greinke after 2-0 win over Giants

    Zack Greinke after 2-0 win over Giants

  • Torey Lovullo on Greinke's dominant start vs. Giants

    Torey Lovullo on Greinke’s dominant start vs. Giants

  • Robbie Ray after 10-strikeout game vs. Giants

    Robbie Ray after 10-strikeout game vs. Giants

  • Archie Bradley on baseball and beards

    Archie Bradley on baseball and beards

  • Torey Lovullo on Pollock's two-run double, Ray's outing

    Torey Lovullo on Pollock’s two-run double, Ray’s outing

  • Shot Clock: D-Backs' Archie Bradley talks football

    Shot Clock: D-Backs’ Archie Bradley talks football

  • Zack Godley on his outing against the Rockies

    Zack Godley on his outing against the Rockies

  • Torey Lovullo on big win over Rockies

    Torey Lovullo on big win over Rockies

  • Paul Goldschmidt downplays his 1,000th career hit

    Paul Goldschmidt downplays his 1,000th career hit

  • Lovullo discusses his team's win over the Rockies

    Lovullo discusses his team’s win over the Rockies

  • D-Backs' A.J. Pollock on his three-hit night

    D-Backs’ A.J. Pollock on his three-hit night

  • Patrick Corbin on his outing against the Rockies

    Patrick Corbin on his outing against the Rockies

  • Shot Clock: D-Backs stay ahead of Rockies?

    Shot Clock: D-Backs stay ahead of Rockies?

  • Torey Lovullo on loss to Rockies

    Torey Lovullo on loss to Rockies

  • J.D. Martinez following D-Backs' loss to Rockies

    J.D. Martinez following D-Backs’ loss to Rockies

  • Taijuan Walker on his outing against the Rockies

    Taijuan Walker on his outing against the Rockies

  • Diamondbacks' rally falls short against Rockies

    Diamondbacks’ rally falls short against Rockies

  • Robbie Ray on his outing vs. Padres

    Robbie Ray on his outing vs. Padres

  • Manager Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' win, Bradley's save

    Manager Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win, Bradley’s save

  • Diamondbacks react to 'tough' loss to Padres

    Diamondbacks react to ‘tough’ loss to Padres

  • Coyotes take batting practice at Chase Field

    Coyotes take batting practice at Chase Field

  • Torey Lovullo on the end of the D-Backs' win streak

    Torey Lovullo on the end of the D-Backs’ win streak

  • Paul Goldschmidt says his elbow is structurally sound

    Paul Goldschmidt says his elbow is structurally sound

  • Zack Greinke after D-Backs' win over Dodgers

    Zack Greinke after D-Backs’ win over Dodgers

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' record-tying 12th consecutive win

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ record-tying 12th consecutive win

  • Shot Clock: JD rocks LA; Cards chase Seattle

    Shot Clock: JD rocks LA; Cards chase Seattle

  • J.D. Martinez on his four-homer night vs. Dodgers

    J.D. Martinez on his four-homer night vs. Dodgers

  • Paul Goldschmidt talks about his sore right elbow

    Paul Goldschmidt talks about his sore right elbow

  • Torey Lovullo on J.D. Martinez's four-homer performance

    Torey Lovullo on J.D. Martinez’s four-homer performance

  • Robbie Ray after striking out career-high 14 vs. Dodgers

    Robbie Ray after striking out career-high 14 vs. Dodgers

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' 10th consecutive win

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ 10th consecutive win

  • Zack Godley on wild yet effective outing vs. Rockies

    Zack Godley on wild yet effective outing vs. Rockies

SAN DIEGO – Daniel Descalso’s liner screamed toward shallow left-center, where Padres center fielder Manuel Margot appeared as if from nowhere to catch the ball on a dive. The play was an indication of the sort of funk in which the Diamondbacks have once again found themselves, a time when even their hard-hit balls aren’t going for hits.

Their 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Monday night was their fourth consecutive game on this road trip in which they scored three runs or less. They managed just five hits, and in their past nine games, they’re hitting just .240 and averaging less than four runs per game. In the process, their magic number to clinch a wild-card spot remained frozen at six for the second consecutive day.

Perhaps this is nothing to worry about, the sort of funk that’s emblematic of the ups and downs of a baseball seasons. But there are reasons to wonder.

Jake Lamb, who for months has been installed in the middle of the lineup against right-handed pitchers, was dropped to the No. 6 spot on Monday, his struggles leaving manager Torey Lovullo with little choice. David Peralta, another key bat, has had a quiet month of September, and he left Monday’s game with a quad injury, though both he and Lovullo say it is not a big concern.

Paul Goldschmidt, who missed five games with elbow soreness earlier this month, has returned to go just 8 for 40 (.200), including a hitless night in four at-bats on Monday. A.J. Pollock is showing signs of life, but he still hasn’t been lifted from the No. 7 spot in the lineup.

It feels like J.D. Martinez, who on Monday was named the National League player of the week for the second consecutive week, is the Diamondbacks’ only hitter locked in at the plate.

“We certainly have some guys that are not at the top of their game right now,” hitting coach Dave Magadan said. “It’s the cycle of the season. I think we’ve identified some stuff with guys that I think is going to help them kind of turn the corner. We’ve just got to see the results in the game. They’ll come. These guys are too good and they’ve been too good for too long not to turn things around.”

From Magadan’s perspective, there were things to like about Monday night’s game. His hitters were patient, working deep counts against Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo; the Diamondbacks drew leadoff walks in four of the first six innings.

And he thought they had decent at-bats with men in scoring position, even if they weren’t able to come away with the game-changing hit.

Descalso came the closest. In the third, with the bases loaded, two out and two runs already in, Descalso hit a hard liner to shallow center field. Margot got an incredible jump to make a catch that might have saved the game for the Padres.

“For the most part, we’re getting guys on but we’re just not getting that big hit to fall,” Magadan said. “Tonight would have been a different story – Descalso hit that ball to left-center and they had him played perfect. Margot made a great catch. It’s a different game. Maybe two runs score on that.”

Peralta said he first felt tightness in his quad during his run-scoring single in the third. He took another at-bat, flying to center and drawing the attention of the coaching staff for his slow run down to first.

In the bottom of the inning, he made a sliding play on a Margot double to left-center, which turned out to be the final straw for Lovullo, who removed Peralta from the game the following inning.

“He said, ‘I don’t know how to go with my safety on,’ ” Lovullo said. “ ‘I want to go as hard as I can. I’m just kind of fearful that I feel it when I’m doing that.’ I heard that and that was enough for me.”

Still, Peralta downplayed the issue after the game, disputing a reporter who asked about his “injury.”

“Well, it’s not an injury,” he said. “Injury is a big word.”

Does he expect to be back on Tuesday night?

“Hopefully,” he said. “It depends on the treatment and how my body reacts tomorrow, but I feel normal. So we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

MORE: D-Backs’ 2017 starting rotation may be the best in franchise history

RELATED: Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley stays true to himself amid rising fame

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Tuesday’s game

Diamondbacks at Padres

When: 7:10 p.m.

Where: Petco Park, San Diego.

Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (8-7, 3.00) vs. Padres LHP Travis Wood (1-3, 6.91).

TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).

Godley is coming off his best start of the season. He gave up just five hits with no walks in eight shutout innings against the Rockies on Thursday at Chase Field. … He has posted a 1.29 ERA in three starts this month. … He just faced the Padres on Sept. 9, giving up two runs in seven innings. … Wood was dealt from the Royals to the Padres a week before the trade deadline. He had a 6.91 ERA in 41 2/3 innings for the Royals and has a 6.70 ERA in 41 2/3 innings for the Padres. … A year ago, Wood had a 2.95 ERA in 61 innings for the Cubs. … He averages about 89 mph with his fastball and mixes in sliders, change-ups and cutters.

Coming up

Wednesday: At San Diego, 6:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (14-5, 2.74) vs. Padres RHP Dinelson Lamet (7-7, 4.15).

Thursday: Off.

Friday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (17-6, 2.87) vs. Marlins LHP Adam Conley (7-7, 5.20).

Saturday: At Chase Field, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (9-8, 3.45) vs. Marlins LHP Dillon Peters (0-2, 5.40).