Musgrove, Padres’ offense stymie Arizona in 7-0 win

Credit: Padres

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Credit: Padres

Petco Park- San Diego, California

The San Diego Padres continued their hot start to the 2021 season on Saturday night, beating the Diamondbacks for a third straight night, 7-0.

The 3-0 start is the fourth such start in franchise history and the first since the team’s 1984 National League Championship season.

In his Padres’ debut, San Diego native Joe Musgrove gave the Padres everything they could have asked for and more, going six scoreless innings and striking out eight. Musgrove allowed only three hits while showcasing his full arsenal of pitches.

“It’s nice to be on the home team. I’ve never wanted something more than I do now, to bring a championship to this city and tonight was a first step,” Musgrove said about playing in his hometown.

Of the six pitches that the veteran righty displayed Saturday night, his slider caused the Diamondbacks the most trouble.  Musgrove threw 17 sliders, producing seven swings and misses and only two balls in play from Arizona hitters.  Musgrove has now thrown 22 scoreless innings dating back to the 2020 season, which was spent as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Regarding his performance, Musgrove seemed pleased with his overall effort. “Everything’s working. You’re able to execute everything. One of those nights where you just hope you can go as long as you can,” Musgrove said after the game.

Equally impressive was the offense for San Diego that was without baseball’s hottest hitter, Eric Hosmer, who got the night off against Arizona’s lefty starter Caleb Smith.

Manny Machado led the way after a quiet first two games, hitting his first home run and driving in his first two runs of the young season.

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Wil Myers continued his hot start at the plate, driving in three runs and reaching base three times.

Rookie Ha-Seong Kim temporarily silenced his critics in his first start in his Major League career, hitting two hard-hit singles to left for his first two career hits.  Kim would drive in the Padres’ second run on the first of the two singles, both of which topped 105 MPH in exit velocity.

“We’re enjoying ourselves out there…we’re playing team baseball.  Taking the walks, getting guys over, slugging.  We’re doing everything possible to play as a team,” Machado said when asked about the team’s early offensive success.

The Padres were in control throughout the entirety of Saturday’s lopsided win, giving the team a welcomed sense of calmness as the latter portion of the game played out.  The first two games of the series were hard-fought wins that required back-to-back, hard-earned saves by closer Mark Melancon.

The Padres showed an ability to win ugly games during the first two games to open the season while showing the ability to win a beautiful, seamless game Saturday night.

The Padres look to sweep the four-game set against the Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM, with Chris Paddack making his season debut.

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