Clevinger and Gore’s piggyback powers Padres to win

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The Padres utilized their “piggyback” of Mike Clevinger and MacKenzie Gore to perfection, as they pitched eight innings, allowing just four singles.

The Padres ‘ offense took four frames to come to life, but they pushed three runs across, which was plenty after the stellar pitching. Robinson Cano made his second start at DH, and he had a multi-hit day, while Wil Myers scored two runs. San Diego continued their strong road trip with a pair of fantastic appearances by a pair of pitchers. Taylor Rogers shut down another game, picking up his 14th save.

Mike Clevinger made his third start of 2022, and it was by far his best. After a pair of tough outings in Cleveland and against the Cubs, he’d allowed five runs in nine innings of work. It all clicked for Clevinger in Philadelphia. He went five innings, allowing just one hit and walking none. He struck out five batters, and he faced just two three-ball counts in the game. Both three-ball counts came on full counts, and both also ended in outs. Clevinger was in complete control, as he faced just one batter with a runner in scoring position. Clevinger threw just 75 pitches, as expected, but he threw 49 of them for strikes and picked up his first win of the season.

After Clevinger worked his five innings, MacKenzie Gore made his first appearance out of the bullpen in 2022. Gore, along with Nick Martinez, was pushed to the bullpen after the returns of Clevinger and Blake Snell. Both Gore and Martinez will pitch after Snell and Clevinger, meaning that the bullpen will get rest on those days. When asked about pitching out of the bullpen, he said, “Just get outs.” He absolutely delivered, pitching three innings, and while he did allow three hits, he was also fantastic. All three hits were singles, he did not walk any batters, and he struck out four Phillies. He was extremely efficient, needing just 40 pitches to work the three innings while throwing 75% of his pitches for strikes. With the Padres in the lead, interim manager Ryan Christensen turned to Taylor Rogers to pick up the save.

Rogers was solid, facing three batters. He struck out Kyle Schwarber to lead off the inning. Jean Segura grounded into a game-ending double play after Nick Castellanos singled. Rogers’ 12th save puts him second in the NL, just behind Milwaukee’s Josh Hader.

The Padres bats were not fantastic, as they recorded just eight hits, seven of which were singles. Aside from Jurickson Profar’s infield single in the second, the Padres did not have a runner reach base in the first four innings. In the fifth, Myers and Cano hit back-to-back one-out singles before Austin Nola brought Myers home with a fielder’s choice groundout. Nola beat out the double play attempt, putting the Padres into the lead. The Padres put runners on the corners in the sixth, but they failed to score after a lineout and a flyout. In the seventh, Cano and Myers reached base to start the frame. Myers came around to score on an error by Schwarber before Cano scored on Trent Grisham’s double. Grisham’s double was smoked, coming off the bat at nearly 105 miles per hour, having a 95% chance of being a hit. San Diego produced just one hit in the remainder of the game, but it didn’t matter, as three runs proved to be more than enough.

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It was a great example of the benefits of the piggyback, as the Padres have a nearly completely fresh bullpen, as well as a win. They moved to 3-1 on the road trip, as they now have a chance to win the series on Wednesday.

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