Despite errors, Kinsler’s clutch three-run home run lifts Padres to 4-3 win

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: AP Photo

San Diego, California-

The Padres miffed on multiple pop-ups and infield dribblers. They wildly tossed the ball around the field en route to three errors. Their hitters struck out a total of nine times. The Pittsburgh Pirates outhit the Padres eight hits to five.

However, an unlikely hero came to the Padres’ rescue in their time of need. Ian Kinsler, who had been scuffling to a .171 batting average before today’s game, launched a three-run home run to the Western Metal Building to give the Padres a sixth-inning lead and a victory in the first game of the series.

Both Eric Lauer and Trevor Williams traded zeroes in the first and second inning. Lauer hadn’t allowed a hit in either inning but allowed Elias Diaz to get on due to a throwing error by Austin Hedges. Diaz got to second on another throwing error, this time by Lauer on a pickoff, but the second-year lefty fetched a groundball out from Jake Elmore to end the threat.

In 8,019 games, the San Diego Padres have yet to pitch a no-hitter. With Lauer getting two more outs, some thought that maybe this would be the game that history would be made. History would not be made as an Adam Frazier single pushed the “no-no-no streak” to 8,020 games and breaking the New York Mets streak.

The scoreless tie would also be broken in the bottom of the third inning as Franmil Reyes walloped a Williams fastball just over the center field fence to give San Diego a one-run lead. The home run, which was Reyes’ 13th of the season, left the ballpark at 102.2 MPH as Reyes continues to pad his darling Statcast numbers on the year.

All sorts of miscues occurred in the fifth to allow the Pirates to tie the game. A “double” that dropped between Kinsler, Reyes, and Eric Hosmer while a Francisco Liriano infield hit put runners on first and third. Another soft hit to the infield, this time by Frazier, allowed Kevin Newman to duck underneath a Hedges tag to score the tying run.

The seventh inning was no better. Diaz cracked his second hit of the game, and a throwing error by Greg Garcia put runners on first and second. The three errors committed by the Padres now bring their total to 26 on the season, making them tied for the tenth most in the Majors. Lauer was pulled after the error after 5.2 innings. He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes while allowing two runs on seven hits, but he didn’t allow a walk while striking out three batters. The second run scored after Adam Warren threw a bouncing ball to home plate that skipped past Hedges to allow the go-ahead run to score for Pittsburgh.

A Hosmer single and a Wil Myers walk, something he hasn’t done since May 7, brought up Kinsler with two outs. On a 1-2 count, the 36-year-old crushed a hanging Richard Rodriguez curveball to the Western Metal Supply building at 100.6 MPH for his first home run since May 3 and his fifth on the season.

It was the Kinsler home run that pushed the Padres to the lead. Despite a Gregory Polanco home run, Pittsburgh couldn’t scratch across another run. Craig Stammen bridged the gap to Kirby Yates, who slammed the door on the Pirates for his 17th save to secure the victory for San Diego.

Lauer looked much sharper in today’s game after getting pummeled for eight runs in three innings against the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field. Timely hitting was the name of the game, but San Diego cannot make the type of fielding mistakes they made today a habit. While only one run scored despite the numerous poor plays, that type of play comes with extreme risk that teams will normally capitalize on.

Joey Luchessi will toe the rubber for the Padres in Game Two of the four-game series on Friday at 7:10. An old friend takes the hill for Pittsburgh as Jordan Lyles carries a surprisingly low 2.09 ERA into Friday’s game.

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1 thought on “Despite errors, Kinsler’s clutch three-run home run lifts Padres to 4-3 win

  1. No mention of the F bombs droped on the fans after the HR? That’s the story. This is the so called mentor brought in to lead by example? He should be fined and suspended. Management needs to show this is not acceptable. He should be sent out of town as soon as possible. What a mistake. Kinsler said it, it was directed at the fans…he needs to own it!

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