Darvish Leaves Early in Padres Loss

San Diego ace exits with lower back tightness

In July, All-Star Yu Darvish was dealing with back and hip tightness and didn't pitch like an All-Star. In his latest start, last Friday night, he was he was back to being one of the game's best pitchers.

That didn't last long enough. The has returned, and the Padres might have a full-blown crisis in their pitching staff.

Darvish left in the 3rd inning of Thursday night's 12-3 loss to the Diamondbacks in Arizona with lower back tightness. He'll be re-evaluated in the coming days and hopefully will be able to avoid another stint on the 10-day Injured List.

Darvish was staked to a 2-0 lead. Tommy Pham led off with a double and scored on a triple by Adam Frazier, who scored on a Jake Cronenworth single. After that things unraveled quickly.

Darvish struck out four in two shutout innings but didn't look like his usual self. In the 3rd he gave up a single to pitcher Caleb Smith and walked Josh Rojas. Pavin Smith dumped a shallow fly ball into right field for a double and Carson Kelly beat the shift with a soft line drive to give AZ a 3-2 lead.

David Peralta followed with a 2-run blast into the pool in right-center for a 5-2 D-Backs lead. A couple batters later Darvish delivered a pitch and landed awkwardly, looking down at his feet on the mound. Manager Jayce Tingler and the training staff immediately headed to the mound and after a short discussion Yu was escorted to the clubhouse.

A quintet of San Diego relievers followed to allow seven more runs. On Friday night Blake Snell takes the mound again, and this might be the most important start of his Padres career.

The Friars have seven pitchers, four of them starters, on the IL already. If Snell is able to follow up his last two outings (12.0 IP, 1 earned run, 19 strikeouts combined) with another dominant start the Padres will be in a much better position to deal with the potential loss of their Opening Day starter for a while.

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