Bullpen & batting blunders lead Padres to 4-3 loss in Minnesota


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Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Seth Lugo pitched a fantastic start against the Minnesota Twins in game two of a three-game series at Target Field this Wednesday, May 10.

The veteran pitcher allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk in six innings, but it was all for not as the bullpen showcased its struggle along with the inconsistent Padres’ offense.

Brent Honeywell, Tim Hill, and Luis Garcia all allowed no runs in three innings of work as all seemed to go well in a 2-2 game heading into extra innings. The Padres were able to play perfect small ball and get a run on Twins’ closer Jhoan Duran via a suicide squeeze by Austin Nola to drive in Rougned Odor in the 10th inning. Duran, who throws over 100 mph and is one of the premier closers in the game, had already pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and this was the best way the Padres were able to beat him out.

Josh Hader came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th and immediately gave up a one-run single to Donovan Solano, which drove in ghost-runner Willi Castro to tie the game at three runs a piece. Hader was able to get three strikeouts to retire the side after that single to Solano, but the damage had been dealt.

The Padres had a promising 11th inning as Fernando Tatis Jr. began the inning as the ghost-runner. Juan Soto and Xander Boagerts walked, which loaded the bases with two outs for Matt Carpenter. With the bases loaded, the veteran struck out and failed to get anything off of Griffin Jax.

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In the bottom half of the inning, the bullpen problems persisted, as Domingo Tapia intentionally walked Carlos Correa, then went on to allow a game-ending one-run single to Alex Krilloff. Max Kepler scored to win the game for the Twins in a game where the Padres had the potential to come away with the win.

Apart from the suicide squeeze, the other scoring plays for the Padres included a one-run home run by Juan Soto in the seventh inning and a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado to drive in Trent Grisham in the eighth inning. What had the potential to be a come-from-behind win for the Friars turned into a gutting extra innings loss due to inconsistencies in the bullpen and batting order.

The Padres combined for just four hits in the game, facing a very tough starting pitcher in Pablo Lopez and a very talented Twins’ bullpen. With the loss, San Diego is now 19-18 and three and a half games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Padres will play the final game of this three-game set in Minnesota this Thursday, May 11, as Yu Darvish takes on Bailey Ober.

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