Darvish’s return spells end of skid for Padres

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The San Diego Padres ended their five-game skid with a 6-4 win, backed by five strong innings from Yu Darvish.

Losing streak, no more. 

The Padres were able to bring a win back into the win column on Tuesday night, defeating the visiting Cincinnati Reds in a tense 6-4 win at Petco Park. 

San Diego was led onto the field by right-hander Yu Darvish, returning from a bout of neck tightness. It seemed (on both the broadcast and radio) that Darvish was on a pitch count going into the game, but even so, Darvish made the most of his pitch count.

The right-hander would only allow three singles from a potent Reds offense, not walking a single batter and striking out three. He would only face one major threat; in the second inning, the Reds would threaten with runners on second and third with two outs with Elly De La Cruz coming to the plate. Darvish would get a groundout to end the threat. 

The Padres offense had a slow start against old friend Nick Martinez, but were able to break through in the third inning with a bloop double from Fernando Tatis Jr, followed by an RBI single from Jake Cronenworth (on an inside cutter nonetheless) to bring in the Padres’ first run.

The Padres finally broke the dam open in the fifth inning, with two singles and fielders’ choice putting runners on the corners with one out. Jake Cronenwoth would dribble an RBI groundout but would be called back for catcher’s interference. Mike Shildt then made the decision to accept the catcher’s interference call, loading the bases with one out. The gamble from Shildt would pay off, as Manny Machado would line a bases-clearing double into the left-center field gap to make it 4-0 Padres. Jackson Merrill would drive in Machado on a bloop single to left field that just missed being caught by Reds left fielder Spencer Steer to make it a four-run inning for the Pads. 

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Darvish was relieved by the red-hot Adrian Morejon in the sixth inning and would not have as clean an outing as past ones. Elly De La Cruz would single, and Spencer Steer would double before an inside-out single from Jonathan India brought two runs across the plate. Enyel De Los Santos would record the final out of the inning on a strikeout of Santiago Espinal. The offense would continue to show up in the bottom of the inning, as Ha-Seong Kim would single and Jurickson Profar would double off Reds reliever Buck Farmer. Fernando Tatis Jr would hit into a force-out, bringing in the sixth run of the day for the Friars. The run would prove necessary, as the Reds would get solo home runs from Jeimer Candelario and Stuart Fairchild to bring the game to 6-4. 

The bullpens would hold serve, however, as Yuki Matsui would deliver 1 ⅔ innings of shutout relief, and Emilio Pagan would hold the Padres scoreless in the seventh. In the eighth, Jose Azocar laced a line drive off Reds pitcher Justin Wilson. Wilson was able to throw a practice pitch but would depart the game since the ball hit his shin/knee region. As of now, the Reds have not released an injury diagnosis, so his status for the next game is likely out.

The Padres turned to their closer in the ninth in a two-run game, and as he has done so many times this season, Robert Suarez came through, striking out Santiago Espinal and getting two flyouts to end the game, secure his tenth save of the season, and end the Padres’ losing skid. 

The Padres go for the series win tomorrow at 1:10 pm Pacific Time, with Joe Musgrove on the mound.

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