Martinez and Soto lift Padres past Braves 1-0, win season series

Apr 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Nick Martinez (21) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Martinez delivered when the San Diego Padres needed him with seven shutout innings in San Diego’s 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. With the win, the Padres avoid the sweep and win the season series with the Braves. That could prove critical come playoff time. 

Martinez really settled into the game after stranding the bases loaded with one out in the top of the third inning against the heart of the Braves order. Ronald Acuña Jr. walked to load the bases and set up a prime scoring opportunity for Matt Olson. He popped up to Manny Machado on the first pitch, but Austin Riley still stood in Martinez’s way. After Riley fouled off two pitches and took a ball, Martinez blew a fastball by the right-handed slugger and gave a signature Martinez scream.

“It was the best he’s looked by far, and it came against a talented and hot team,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.

The lone offense all game came off the bat of Juan Soto. He crushed a 431-foot home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. That swing is one the slumping Soto might have needed to get back in the swing of things. He singled in the eighth inning to make it a multi-hit game, his only of the seven-game home stand.

Soto’s home run certainly was significant, and he might have gotten some help from Melvin. The skipper was standing on the far side of the dugout. Melvin always stands on the steps closest to home plate as superstition. His change may have been the difference today.

Machado flashed the leather under the bright San Diego sun on Wednesday. He made multiple impressive plays that most third basemen do not. In the first, he made a play on the run to catch Acuña Jr. in a rundown  and then double off Riley at first for a double play in the first inning.

Later, he fielded a ball in the five-five hole and threw out the speedy Acuña Jr. after spinning. The throw was, as always, right at Jake Cronenworth‘s chest. Machado then barehanded a dribbler and retired Vaughn Grissom with another throw on the run to end the top of the seventh inning. Even when Machado is not producing at the plate, he always makes an impact with his glove. Funny enough, Machado was robbed of a home run by Sam Hilliard in the fifth inning, giving Machado a taste of his own medicine.

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The Padres likely do not win this game without Machado’s stellar defense.

Wednesday’s win concludes a poor 2-5 homestand. San Diego scored just two runs in the three games against Atlanta and dropped the four-game series to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Now, the Padres travel to Arizona to take on the first-place Diamondbacks. Fernando Tatis Jr. will make his much-awaited return after 564 days on Thursday. Joe Musgrove is also scheduled to start on Saturday, per Melvin.  San Diego is getting some much-needed reinforcements.

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1 thought on “Martinez and Soto lift Padres past Braves 1-0, win season series

  1. Spending upwards of a billion dollars on offense, and they score 2 runs in 3 games. YIKES!

    Also, they have a massive problem at catcher. And this isn’t going away any time soon.

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