Capable Cronenworth and a great Gore push Padres to win

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Credit: AP Photo

The Padres picked up their second consecutive win in shutout fashion. They rode MacKenzie Gore and Jake Cronenworth to do it, putting themselves in a position to win the series on Sunday. 

Gore was stellar yet again, dazzling throughout six scoreless frames.

The rookie threw a career-high 108 pitches as he carved apart the Brewers lineup. Milwaukee picked up just three hits, all of which were singles. Gore did walk three batters, but he also struck out a career-high ten batters. It was the second time Gore struck out 10, matching his outing against the Reds on April 27. He also allowed just one batted ball that came off the bat at over 100 miles per hour.

Gore never really was under threat, as the Brewers had just one opportunity with runners in scoring position. Gore retired the first two batters of the fifth inning before a single, and a walk put him under threat. He dialed up a beautiful change-up to strike out Andrew McCutchen, freezing the former MVP.

Gore’s six scoreless innings meant that he has allowed just one run in his last 22 innings on the mound.

Cronenworth was the hero at the plate, powering the Padres offense. Cronenworth started at first base, giving Eric Hosmer a day off. He struck out looking in his first at-bat, but he adjusted quickly. Cronenworth came up with a clutch two-out double, which he slapped down the left-field line. In his next plate appearance, he cleaned out a change-up, sending it over the right field wall. The pitch was not in the strike zone, but he found the barrel of the bat, getting enough of the ball. It was Cronenworth’s fourth home run of the season. Cronenworth said that he had “Been working super hard in the cage to get my swing right, and today was the first day it paid off, which is awesome.” The double and the home run both came with two outs, as Cronenworth came up clutch when the team needed it. 

Aaron Ashby, nephew of former Padre Andy Ashby, started the game for the Brewers, containing the Padres lineup for most of his outing. Cronenworth’s third-inning double broke the deadlock before Jurickson Profar’s RBI groundout doubled the lead in the fifth. Cronenworth blew the game open with his home run, but Ashby finished with six innings of four-run ball. He struck out nine Padres as San Diego struggled at the dish for phases of the game. Jose Azocar and Trent Grisham started off the fifth inning with a pair of singles, both of which had less than a 50% chance of being hits, according to Baseball Savant. Both Azocar and Grisham later scored in the inning, which proved crucial. 

After Gore exited the game, Padres manager Bob Melvin turned to Nabil Crismatt out of the bullpen. Crismatt allowed one hit, but he also recorded a strikeout in a scoreless frame. It was the 100th punch-out of his big-league career, another milestone for the Colombian. Crismatt has been one of the biggest surprises for the Padres in 2022, lowering his ERA to 1.80 with the shutout inning. Luis Garcia was the next pitcher out of the bullpen, working his way out of trouble. The Brewers put runners on the corners with one out, but a strikeout and a groundout ended the threat. 

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Despite it being a non-save situation, Taylor Rogers entered the game, attempting to purge the memories of his disastrous outing on Thursday night. The first hitter Rogers faced was Jace Peterson, who tripled off him on Thursday. After throwing three consecutive balls to start his day, he battled back to retire Peterson. He then finished the Brewers off with a pop-out and a flyout to end the game. He looked like his usual self, finishing off the Padres’ second consecutive shutout.

It was the first time since May 2016 that the Padres recorded back-to-back shutouts. The Padres will play to win both the series and the season series versus Milwaukee tomorrow, as Mike Clevinger returns from the injured list.

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