Martinez impresses, Profar shines on defense in Padres’ 4-2 win over Giants

Padres Nick Martinez

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Padres Jurickson Profar

On a cool 51-degree night at Oracle Park, the San Diego Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Monday.

Nick Martinez made his team debut for the Padres, marking his first MLB start since September 27, 2017.

The Giants wasted little time welcoming Martinez back to the big leagues. Brandon Belt hit a one-out single up the middle, and Darin Ruff followed with a single deposited into left-center. With Belt advancing to third on the play, Martinez got the next two batters out to avoid any damage.

“It was exciting to be back, for sure,” Martinez said. “I definitely had the juices flowing and the blood pumping.”

After the first two batters reached base in the second inning, the Giants took a 1-0 lead on Mauricio Dubon‘s one-out sacrifice fly to left field. San Franciso squared up Martinez through the first two innings, with four of the first six balls put in play having an exit velocity of 105.5 mph or higher.

Martinez danced out of more trouble in the third inning. After allowing a leadoff ground-rule double to Belt, the Padres’ right-hander hit Pederson. However, an inning-ending double play kept the Giants from tacking onto their lead.

Alex Wood kept the Padres in check through the first three innings, striking out six over that span. But the Padres evened the score in the fourth inning on Jurickson Profar‘s bases-loaded infield single. The Giants challenged that the ball got to first base prior to Profar touching the bag. The ruling was upheld, giving the Padres’ left fielder his seventh RBI of the young season.

“He did come out with quite a bit of extra velocity today,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “A lot of life on his ball. At the same time, I think he didn’t have his best command at times today.”

In the home half of the fourth inning, Martinez struck out the side on just 12 pitches. The Padres’ right-hander got every Giants hitter into a 1-2 count before finishing them with an offspeed pitch.

Austin Nola continued his hot start to the season with a solo shot to left field in the fifth inning, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead. He was also the final batter that Wood faced, sending him to an early exit after throwing 74 pitches over 4.1 innings.

After completing the fifth inning unscathed, Martinez’s night was also done. He was excellent in his team debut, striking out six batters while escaping out of some tricky situations.

As a staff, Padres’ starters (including Nabil Crismatt) have gone 27 innings, allowing 11 hits, three earned runs, nine walks, and 28 strikeouts to start the year.

With the bullpens in play the rest of the way, Steven Wilson came on in relief for the Padres in the home half of the sixth inning. Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford reached before Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim teamed up for a double play. With Joey Bart at the plate, Pederson came around to score on Wilson’s wild pitch, notching the score at two runs apiece.

The Padres jumped back out in front in the top of the seventh inning.

Kim and Trent Grisham led off the frame with back-to-back singles off Tyler Rogers, twin brother of Padres reliever Taylor Rogers. After Austin Nola flied out in foul territory, Machado hit a weak comebacker to Rogers. The Giants’ reliever bobbled the ball after initially looking to second to start the double play. He threw to first base to get the out while Kim trotted home, giving the Padres a 3-2 lead.

Profar had perhaps the play of the game in left field. With the Giants threatening in the bottom of the seventh, Ruf hit a deep fly ball headed for trouble to the left-center field gap. The Padres left fielder ranged 100 feet over to his left, making a diving catch to end the inning.

“I told myself if it’s staying in the park I have to catch it,” Profar said of the play.

The Padres added an insurance run in the top half of the ninth inning.

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After Giants’ reliever Jose Alvarez walked Grisham and Machado, Jake Cronenworth sent an opposite-field flare into left field, plating Grisham. San Diego turned to closer Taylor Rogers, who collected his third save in as many tries.

UP NEXT: Game 2 between these two teams is on Tuesday night, with the first pitch set for 6:45 pm PT.

2 thoughts on “Martinez impresses, Profar shines on defense in Padres’ 4-2 win over Giants

  1. I was definitely one of many, who questioned whether Profar was the answer in left field….but his defense has been very good, and his offense has been key to several victories… While I’d love to see a proven power hitter out there, Profar has been more than capable so far….

    1. Yeah for sure. Obviously, still very early, but he’s been rock solid in the field and at the plate. Love that Melvin joked that he took Profar out for defensive purposes in the ninth haha.

      Hope he keeps it up!

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