Petco Park, San Diego California
A story that had been one of ace pitchers squaring off in San Diego’s Petco Park ended up anything but that.
Home runs were the story of the San Diego Padres’ magical 6-3 extra-innings win over the Texas Rangers Wednesday. After four solo home runs accounted for the scoring in the first nine innings, Manny Machado capped off the night with his San Diego signature moment, a no-doubt walk-off grand slam while down 3-2 in extra innings.
Machado’s grand slam followed a masterful performance by Padres’ ace Chris Paddack, which was then overshadowed by another poor performance from a worrisome San Diego bullpen, eventually leaving the door open for Machado’s heroics.
Paddack’s fastball was his kryptonite in his last start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which saw him last only three innings while giving up six runs, including three home runs. On Wednesday night at Petco Park, Paddack stifled the Rangers in six strong innings, striking out five and while giving up one run.
In the first inning, Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor took a Paddack curveball deep to right field on a no-doubt blast, which ended up being Paddack’s only blemish on the night. The solo shot was more of a reflection of Odor’s propensity to hit the long ball than a mistake made by Paddack.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Padres’ left-fielder Jurickson Profar connected on an opposite-field shot into the stands, tying the score at 1-1. Profar, who had homered from the right side of the plate in Tuesday’s game against his old team, showed off his switch-hitting prowess by homering from the left side this time, his fourth of the season.
A few batters later, Fernando Tatis Jr. continued his onslaught of Padres’ opponents by connecting on his league-leading twelfth home run of the season, giving the Padres a 2-1 lead. The home run also gave Tatis his MLB leading 29th RBI and increased his batting average to .317.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) August 20, 2020
The score remained 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, where Matt Strahm had a chance to close the door on the game and turn the tides on what has been a head-scratching season for the Padres’ bullpen. Instead, Strahm gave up a solo home run to Rangers’ slugger Joey Gallo, which tied up the score 2-2 and eventually led the way to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, the Rangers started the inning with a runner on second, per the newly implemented extra innings rule. With Cal Quantrill on the mound after finishing the ninth inning, the Rangers loaded the bases with no outs, which forced Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler to bring in lefty sidearmer Tim Hill. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Hill looked to be close to getting out of the jam with the 2-2 score intact.
Rangers’ outfielder Willie Calhoun then came up with two outs and hit a dribbler in between home plate and the pitcher’s mound. The ball was mishandled by Austin Hedges, allowing the go-ahead run to score for the Rangers.
With the Padres down 3-2 going into the bottom of the 10th and Profar granted second base to start the inning, the Padres loaded the bases with one out after walks by Trent Grisham and Tatis Jr., bringing up Manny Machado with a chance to be the hero.
After battling back from a 1-2 count to make it a full count, Machado hit a no-doubt bomb to the left-field bleachers, giving the Padres their third grand slam in three games, and a dramatic, much-needed win.
Manny Machado is a San Diego Padre.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 20, 2020
No doubt a signature moment for Machado in a Padres’ uniform, this win will be one to look back on for a long time to come.