• Archie Bradley answers questions from reporters – and J.D. Martinez

    Archie Bradley answers questions from reporters – and J.D. Martinez

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs avoid sweep in San Diego

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs avoid sweep in San Diego

  • Torey Lovullo on recent offensive struggles after loss to Padres

    Torey Lovullo on recent offensive struggles after loss to Padres

  • A.J. Pollock on his two-homer game vs. Padres

    A.J. Pollock on his two-homer game vs. Padres

  • D-Backs' Zack Godley after loss to Padres

    D-Backs’ Zack Godley after loss to Padres

  • 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 – Archie Bradley lined a single to center in the eighth inning on Wednesday night, then motored around the bases after a misplay in the outfield. The Diamondbacks dugout filled with smiles as Bradley raced into third base.

It did not take long for the mood around this team to shift. The Diamondbacks entered the day with three losses in as many days. Their offense had faltered, as had their starting rotation. And when the sixth inning began on Wednesday night, they looked on the verge of being swept by the San Diego Padres.

But after what became a 13-7 victory at Petco Park, celebratory screams could be heard from the clubhouse while manager Torey Lovullo spoke to reporters in his office after the game.

Bradley stood by his locker and answered questions, including a couple posed by teammate J.D. Martinez, who wielded the video camera on his phone as if he were a reporter.

On the other side of the room, rookie Ildemaro Vargas wore the sacred Randy Moss jersey awarded to the player of the game; it was his single in the sixth – the first hit of his big-league career – that sparked the game-winning rally.

All around, players and staff bustled to get out of the clubhouse, onto the bus and en route to the airport, where they would return to Phoenix at the end of a road trip that could have gone worse. It could have gone better, too, but in the end, it wasn’t so bad.

They split their six games in San Francisco and San Diego. And though their magic number to clinch a postseason spot had been frozen at six for three consecutive days, it dropped two digits in the span of a few hours. Hope remained intact of a possible champagne celebration this weekend at Chase Field.

“To say we’re not (paying attention) would just be lying,” Bradley said. “We’re not so much concerned about it, but we’re watching every pitch, every game, every run. We know we’re getting closer to putting ourselves in a position to do something we’ve talked about since February.”

For five innings, this game did not have a good feel. Robbie Ray was the fourth consecutive Diamondbacks starter to struggle through his outing. He missed spots regularly with fastballs and breaking balls, served up three homers in 4 1/3 innings and labored for the first time in months.

“It was tough early,” Ray said. “They were spitting on some really good pitches. That was probably their game plan coming in, to lay off the breaking stuff. I just fell behind guys and they took advantage of it. It was a rough night, but a good team win.”

As a pinch hitter to start the sixth, Vargas lined an opposite field single to left off Padres starter Dinelson Lamet, who had been staked to a 6-2 lead. Four batters later, after a walk, a hit and a sac fly, J.D. Martinez clubbed a two-run, game-tying blast to the opposite field.

The homer released a barrage of offense that had been mostly absent throughout the past week. Entering the night, the Diamondbacks had gone just 3 for 26 with runners in scoring position; they were 6 for 11 in those situations on Wednesday.

“You’re going to go through cold streaks and you’re going to go through hot streaks,” Martinez said. “You just pray that you get on a hot streak at the right time.”

There were a lot of encouraging signs for the offense. David Peralta not only returned after a one-game absence with a quad issue, he lined an opposite-field homer to start the game and laced the go-ahead double in the seventh inning. Jake Lamb drilled a solo homer in the third, his first since Aug. 20. A.J. Pollock hit another home run, a three-run shot, capping what was a solid road trip for him.

“I think there were just some key at-bats where we got runners on and we had some timely hitting,” Lovullo said. “I know he’s going to talk about it for the three or four weeks, but Archie had a big moment for us.”

After facing just one batter in the seventh, Bradley took his turn at bat in the top of the eighth with the Diamondbacks clinging to a one-run lead. He lined the first pitch he saw into center field for a clean single, and he ended up at third after the ball scooted past center fielder Manuel Margot, allowing two runs to score.

“Obviously, joking with pitchers, other position players, I like think of myself as still being an athlete and still be able to do athletic things,” Bradley said. “I just had to prove it. It’s easy to talk about it, but I just had to do it.”

Coupled with losses by the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies, the Diamondbacks’ magic number dropped to four while their lead for home-field advantage in the wild-card game increased to 5 1/2 games. The Diamondbacks have just nine games left to play.

“I know it’s been sitting at six for a little while,” Lovullo said. “We’ve been grinding away at things for the past three days. You scoreboard watch. You pay attention to what’s going on. You see that some key teams had lost. And you throw up a win. It’s a big night for us.”

MORE: Jimmie Sherfy gaining traction in Diamondbacks’ bullpen

MORE: Diamondbacks face history-chasing Giancarlo Stanton next

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

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