Musgrove struggles, Padres lose series finale to Rockies

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Denver Post

After everything had gone right for the San Diego Padres for the previous four days, the baseball gods seemed determined to hand the Padres some bad luck. Joe Musgrove could not seem to get big outs when he needed it, and the Padres’ hard-hit balls seemed to be magnetically attracted to Colorado Rockies’ gloves.

Musgrove, making his first start since signing his contract extension, worked his way through the first two innings with ease, but he found himself in trouble in the third. Brian Serven and Charlie Blackmon led off the inning with a pair of soft singles, and both scored. Ryan McMahon brought both across with a two-out double, putting the Rockies in front.

McMahon did more damage in the fifth, blasting a three-run home run to blow the game open. The homer chased Musgrove from the game, with Nick Martinez relieving Musgrove. It was the first time since July 2021 that Musgrove failed to work at least five frames. The right-hander has struggled of late, positing a 5.71 ERA in his last seven outings. However, save for McMahon’s damage, most hits were weak, with manager Bob Melvin describing them as “soft serve.”.

Martinez allowed hits to each of the first two batters he faced, but he got through 2.1 solid innings. He grew stronger as his outing went on, as he allowed just one hit to the final eight batters he faced.

The Padres’ tough luck continued at the plate. Brandon Drury, whose grand slam in his Padres debut was nearly followed with an impressive encore. He blasted a fly ball deep to left field, but the Rockies’ Sam Hilliard made a spectacular play to rob Drury of a home run. 

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland appeared to have gone wild in the fourth when he walked Machado on four pitches and fell behind 2-0 to Juan Soto. Soto laced a 109.4 mile per hour line drive right to first baseman C.J. Cron, who stepped on first to record a double play. 

The Padres left the bases loaded in the fifth, as Manny Machado just got under a fastball from Freeland. They also left runners on the corners in the sixth, leaving nine men on over the course of the game. Melvin said that “It just wasn’t meant to be today.”.

Juan Soto did record his first extra-base hits in a Padres uniform, tripling in the sixth and doubling in the seventh. The double, along with the line drive double play, both came off Soto’s bat at over 106 miles per hour. Four of Soto’s five batted balls came off the bat at over 100 miles per hour as he continued to crush the ball.

Josh Bell recorded his first hit in a Padres uniform on a second-inning single, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk.

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Austin Nola went 3-3 with a walk in the game, his first three-hit game since September 2021.

The Padres’ five-game winning streak was broken, but they’ll still head to Los Angeles playing some of their best baseball. 

Sean Manaea will face off against the Dodgers, who are yet to name a starter for the game. Los Angeles has won five in a row, sweeping a four-game set with the Giants in San Francisco in the process.

It’ll be a major test for the new-look Padres, who will attempt to show they belong in the NL West race.

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