San Diego, California
The Padres looked to even up the series against the Braves in the opening series of the second half of the 2019 season. Joey Lucchesi took the mound for San Diego opposite Julio Teheran in front of a sold-out crowd on a beautiful night at Petco Park.
The game got off to a rough start for Lucchesi as Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer after a walk to give the Braves a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. After that, Lucchesi retired the next 10 in a row.
The Padres immediately responded when Manny Machado launched his 22nd home run of the season, his second in two games in this series. That cut the lead in half. Each team traded scoreless innings until the bottom of the fifth when Francisco Mejia led off with a solo home run, tying the game at two.
Manuel Margot then worked a walk and then advanced to third on a passed ball and a throwing error by Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers. Josh Naylor then hit a fly ball deep enough to score Margot on a sacrifice fly, giving the Friars a 3-2 lead. Margot would walk three times in the evening.
Lucchesi finished with five innings pitched, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.
In the bottom of the seventh, Margot worked another walk and then Fernando Tatis Jr. was later intentionally walked, putting runners on first and third. Tatis then got into a pickle which sent Margot barreling towards home, sliding in safe to give the Padres the lead back at 4-3.
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In the eighth, Gerardo Reyes started the inning on the mound for San Diego and immediately walked the leadoff hitter, causing Andy Green to switch to All-Star closer Kirby Yates to try for the six out save.
It did not go as planned.
Nick Markakis singled, and after a ground ball, Josh Donaldson got to third. Austin Riley then hit a fly ball, which scored Donaldson and tied the game once again, now 4-4.
Yates pitched a scoreless ninth, sending the Friars to the bottom of the ninth still tied. They were able to get the winning run to second base, but Tatis struck out to send the game into extra innings.
Luis Perdomo walked the leadoff batter of extra innings, Donaldson, who got to second on a fielder’s choice. He then scored on an Ozzie Albies single, giving the Braves the 5-4 lead in the 10th inning. Flowers then lined a two-run double into right, extending Atlanta’s lead to 7-4.
Machado led off the bottom of the 10th with his second homer of the night, his fourth multi-homer game of the season. The Padres were able to get the winning run at the plate in Mejia, who launched a ball into the right-field corner. It took a fantastic catch by Markakis to save the game for the Braves. Margot was intentionally walked and with no other reserves left, the reliever Perdomo was forced to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. He struck out looking to end the game, and the Braves won 7-5.
Overall, the Padres walked five batters, three of them came around to score. San Diego falls two games under .500 and will try to salvage a game of this weekend series on Sunday.