Cease and Padres offense turn lights out on Athletics in win

The Padres beat the Athletics 6-1 on Monday night behind a Tatis home run and a solid outing from Dylan Cease.

Jun 10, 2024; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) hits a home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Padres beat the Athletics 6-1 on Monday night.
Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After splitting a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Padres home stand continued as the Oakland Athletics traveled to Petco Park to begin a three-game set.

Padres skipper Mike Shildt gave Dylan Cease the nod, entering his start with a 3.51 ERA over 77 frames. The right-hander has struggled as of late, allowing at least three earned runs in his past five outings. For the Athletics and Mark Kotsay, soft-tosser Joey Estes took the ball, coming off an excellent outing against the Seattle Mariners in which he tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings on one hit.

Cease turned the narrative on his recent struggles and hurled his first quality start since May 8 against the Chicago Cubs. At the end of his line, Cease twirled six innings of one-earned run baseball and struck out eight Athletics in the process. Cease’s gem, paired with consistent offensive pressure, allowed San Diego to cruise to a 6-1 victory.

“I felt good,” Cease said following the outing in a mid-game television interview with Don Orsillo and Mark Grant. “I thought the off-speed was pretty sharp. After the first or second (inning), I found another gear with my rhythm.”

Oakland and San Diego mirrored homers early on. The Athletics struck first in the top half of the second inning when Cease left a fastball over the heart of the plate, which Tyler Soderstrom launched to right field for a solo home run. However, the Padres tied the score in the bottom of the third when Estes left a fastball over the middle to Jake Cronenworth, which he crushed 108-MPH over 420 feet to the Crone Zone in right field.

Following Cronenworth’s round-tripper in the third, San Diego added on in back-to-back innings.

In the fourth, Jackson Merrill beat the shift with a 61-MPH “excuse me” double down the left field line. Then, Ha-Seong Kim scorched a 107-MPH line drive with just a 13-degree launch angle over the left fielder Miguel Andujar to plate Merrill.

In the fifth, Fernando Tatis Jr. extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a solo shot into the right field home run deck on a pitch two baseballs off the plate, his second homer in as many games and third in the past four.

San Diego added three more in the seventh frame and took a 6-1 lead. Even a brief light delay couldn’t stop the Padres on Monday.

After seven seasons in the minors, Michel Otañez made his MLB debut and immediately struggled with command. With one out, a walk, hit by pitch, and single loaded the bases for the Friars. Then, Otañez walked Donovan Solano to force in a run. With the bases still full of Padres, Merrill ripped a single for his third hit of the day to score Cronenworth before Tyler Wade, running for Manny Machado, crossed the plate on a Kim sacrifice fly.

Despite the five-run lead, closer Robert Suarez entered in the ninth inning to shut the door as the fireballer last pitched June 1 against Kansas City. Suarez made quick work of the Athletics and retired the side in order with 15 pitches. The hurler struck out two of Padres pitching’s 16 K’s on the day.

The Padres are amidst an intensive schedule in which they play 26 games in 27 days. Cronenworth, 2-for-3 on the evening and 8-for-19 in his past five games, shared his thoughts post-game regarding how he and the team stays ready everyday and approaches the heavy schedule.

“We play every night,” he said. “It’s just getting your mind right and keeping your body healthy.”




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