PHOENIX — San Diego got closer to full health when outfielder Wil Myers was activated from the disabled list Friday, and outfielder Manny Margot is eligible to return Saturday.
A third outfielder, Franchy Cordero, was the one turning heads in the Padres’ 4-1 victory in the first game of a three-game series at Arizona.
Cordero hit the third-longest homer in Chase Field history when the Padres broke a three-game losing streak against an Arizona team that had tied a franchise record for the best start despite health issues of its own.
Padres manager Andy Green must have seen it coming.
“If he lowers the ‘chase’ and puts the ball in play when it is in his zone, he is going to be as productive as anybody in the National League West,” Green said in his pregame meeting with the media.
Cordero’s homer hit off the scoreboard in center field and was measured at 489 feet, the longest by a visitor here and the longest in the majors this sesaon. Adam Dunn hit a 504-foot homer against Colorado on Sept. 27, 2008, and Richie Sexson hit one 503 feet against the Chicago Cubs on April 26, 2004.
Arizona, which lost the first game of a series for the first time this season, will send right-hander Zack Godley to the mound to oppose San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard in the second game of the series Saturday.
Cordero has three homers this season as he looks to claim playing time in a crowded outfield that not only includes Myers and center fielder Margot but has received good production from leadoff man Joel Pirela. Former No. 1 draft pick Hunter Renfroe also has shown occasional power.
“He’s showed some flashes. Just want that consistency,” Green said of Cordero. “It is loud contact. There is so much to like. It is just a matter of forcing (pitchers) into the strike zone. I’ve seen at-bats when he has done that and at-bats when he hasn’t. It’s just plate discipline.
“There is no magic formula to teach that. It is just constant repetition, constant at-bats. Are you going to learn what they are doing to you and make an adjustment back to it? I look forward to watching him get hot.
“Wil and ‘Hos’ (Eric Hosmer) have exceptional tools. Outside of those two guys, there is nobody who is going to get as hot as Franchy can get. He’s got game-changing ability.”
On the other side of the ball, Cordero appeared to cost Tyson Ross a shot at a no-hitter when he got a bad read on Christian Walker‘s line drive to center field with two outs and a runner on first in the eighth inning.
Cordero took a step in, and Walker’s ball just sailed over his glove to drive in Deven Marrero to tie the score at 1. The Padres scored three in the ninth.
Godley (2-1, 3.00 ERA) was touched for six runs (five earned) while walking six in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his most recent start after rolling through his first two outings.
He gave up one run in 14 innings while beating the Dodgers and San Francisco to open the season.
He has made good use of a curveball that he added to his repertoire two years ago to go with his fastball/cutter mix. He throws in the low-80 mph range but can add and subtract off that.
“People will often ask me how in the world are they swinging at that ball that is (bouncing) two feet in front of home plate,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s done such a good job of throwing it out of the same release point and is throwing it so hard that you can’t see spin, so you can’t pick up whether it is a fastball or a curveball.
“That takes a lot of work. He has perfected that pitch, and he deserves a lot of credit. It’s a very, very sharp, hard curveball.”
Godley was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts against San Diego last season and is 1-3 with a 5.50 ERA in nine career appearances (six starts) against the Padres.
Richard (1-1, 5.73 ERA) has had some success against Arizona, although most of it has come at Petco Park. He was 2-2 against the Diamondbacks last season, including a complete game at home while giving up 14 hits and 10 runs in 8 2/3 innings of two starts at Chase Field.
Richard is 10-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 17 career appearances against Arizona, more victories than against any other opponent. He has beaten the Dodgers seven times in 23 starts and the Rockies six times in 20 starts.