Jay hit a go-ahead, two-run double down the right-field line in the eighth inning and finished with three hits and three RBI to lead the Diamondbacks to a 9-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Obtained from Kansas City on June 8, Jay has come out of a slump that started in late June and extended into July.
"He just walks up there and gives you quality at-bats," manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's very patient, working counts. Obviously the results weren't there but he wasn't very far off the whole time. It was a really nice day for him. The big blow down the right-field line was the one that will stand out but there are so many more things he does inside the game that just sets the table."
Jay, who played with San Diego in 2016, also brought in a run with a groundout in the second, when the Diamondbacks took a 4-0 lead against Tyson Ross, who has been rumored to be on the trading block.
"I feel good," Jay said. "I'm happy to contribute. I feel I'm having good at-bats and that's all I really care about. Whatever is happening is a good thing for me."
As for his earlier struggles, "the results weren't there but I was just grinding. I feel much better over the last couple of weeks. It's a long season so I'm just happy to be able to contribute today," he said.
The Padres got back into the game, with Ross hitting a tying single in the fourth, but their bullpen faltered in the eighth.
Daniel Descalso hit a leadoff single off Phil Maton (0-1) and Jeff Mathis sacrificed before pinch-hitter Chris Owings walked. Kirby Yates, San Diego's new closer after All-Star Brad Hand was traded to Cleveland, was greeted by Jay's double. Paul Goldschmidt followed with his second RBI single of the game.
"Jon Jay is one of the tougher guys to punch out," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's a contact-oriented hitter with the game-winning run on the line at third base, so you're going to go with your best strikeout guy, and that's Kirby Yates. Phil can do those things too, but Kirby also hasn't pitched in forever, and you get down in that situation. You're not going to pitch Kirby in the ninth."
The Diamondbacks added two runs in the ninth off Phil Hughes.
Eduardo Escobar made his debut with the Diamondbacks a day after being acquired in a trade with Minnesota. He started at third base and batted fifth, going 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.
The Padres are 2-6 since the All-Star break and have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
Ross struggled badly in the second. He walked the first three batters and then the next four batters each drove in a run. Jeff Mathis and Corbin hit RBI singles, Jay drove in a run with a groundout and Goldschmidt hit a run-scoring single.
"I kind of lost my release point there in the second inning, unfortunately," said Ross, who has bounced back after shoulder surgery limited him in 2017. "Three walks and four runs later, I was able to find it again and after that I was good to go."
The Padres rallied, though, as three of the first five Padres batters in the third hit a double off Corbin. Jose Pirela had a leadoff double to right and Ross beat out an infield single with one out. Manuel Margot doubled to bring in Pirela and Wil Myers followed with a two-run double.
Ross' RBI single to center with two outs in the fourth tied it.
Ross allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, walked four and struck out three. Corbin went six, giving up four runs and six hits while striking out eight and walking two.
"Would obviously love to have him around past the trade deadline, but I understand the landscape right now and I understand where he's at," Green said about Ross.
DIAMONDBACKS: Lovullo said an MRI exam showed that 3B Jake Lamb has no structural damage in his injured left shoulder. He was hurt diving for a grounder Thursday in Chicago. "He's pretty uncomfortable," said Lovullo, adding that there's no timeline yet for Lamb's return. Lamb also hurt his shoulder on April 2 and didn't return until May 18.
PADRES: Placed RHP Luis Perdomo on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder and reinstated LHP Jose Castillo (strained right hamstring) from the DL. Perdomo lasted only 2 1/3 innings on Friday night, allowing six runs and six hits in a 6-2 loss.
Diamondbacks: RHP Clay Bucholz (3-1, 2.38) is scheduled to start the series finale. He's 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in his last three starts.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (5-5, 3.34) is 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA in five starts since being reinstated from the disabled list June 25.
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