Myers hits early Grand Slam, defense shines as Padres beat Rangers 6-4

Padres Fermamdo Tatis Jr.

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Credit: AP Photo

Globe Life Field, Arlington Texas

The San Diego Padres defeated the Texas Rangers 6-4 in game two of a four-game split series. Outfielder Wil Myers hit a grand slam in the first inning, and Jurickson Profar followed in the fourth with a 2-run homer of his own. The defense looked sharp, and the Padres will return home with a winning record (13-12). Texas falls to (10-12).

The Friars came into game one of the series losing five-straight games to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks. The offense was struggling, and the bullpen wasn’t any better. That certainly wasn’t the case Monday night. The Padres won 14-3, and Fernando Tatis Jr. led the way with two home runs and seven RBIs. One of the shortstop’s two homers was a grand slam in the 8th inning that sparked a larger conversation among baseball players and fans.

Entering Tuesday, Tatis Jr. led the Majors in home runs (11) and RBIs (28); while also leading the league in a whole lot of other offensive categories.

San Diego worked their way back to a record of (12-12), as they fell below .500 after the hot start to the 2020 campaign.

Tuesday’s starting-pitching matchup was Padres’s RHP Adrian Morejon against Rangers’ former All-Star LHP Mike Minor. The Padres had recalled Morejon before the game and optioned RHP Luis Perdomo.

Morejon is just 21-years-old and made his MLB debut last season. In five games, he had a 10.13 ERA and nine strikeouts in eight innings pitched.

Game-two started in typical fashion for the Padres as they hit their way to an early lead once again. Three-straight singles by Trent Grisham, Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado set up the grand slam for Myers. Returning to the lineup after missing the last game, Myers connected with the 2-2 pitch and launched the ball to left-center field, and the Padres were on top 4-0 in the very first inning.

It wasn’t just the offense that shined bright early on. In the bottom of the second, Machado chased down a foul ball with a beautiful basket-catch deep in right field by the foul-line. Yes, you read that correctly. The former Gold Glover plays third base, but due to the pull of certain left-handed hitters, Machado moves over in the shift to short right field.

Morejon dealt through the first three innings. The lefty walked one batter but did not give up a hit in 39-pitches. He looked impressive, getting all four of his strikeouts to go down swinging.

San Diego added to their lead with a two-run shot by Profar, scoring Jake Cronenworth and it was 6-0 in the top of the fourth.

Minor did not have his best stuff as he was pulled from the game before getting through the fourth inning. The former All-Star ended up striking out six Padres’ hitters but allowed nine hits and six earned runs.

The pitcher who came in to relive Minor was Ian Gibaut. Gibaut was suspended for three games on Tuesday after he intentionally threw at Machado Monday night.

The fourth inning was a tough one for San Diego. Reliever Javy Guerra came in for Morejon and right away allowed the Rangers to cut the lead in half. Two-straight singles and a 3-run home run by Joey Gallo cut the Padres’ lead to 6-3. After allowing a walk to Nick Solak, Guerra’s day was done after just four hitters.

Craig Stammen was the next to pitch for the Padres. He has never entered a game this early as a Padre. He quickly forced a double-play, but then Scott Heineman doubled to score the runner from third base, and the Padres’ lead was 6-4. Tatis Jr. then saved the inning by making a great play to take a hit and an RBI away from Rangers’ catcher Jeff Mathis.

Stammen pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth with the help of Rookie sensation Jake Cronenworth. Not only is he batting well over .300 for average, but his defensive capability has also saved hits and runs for the Friars this season.

Padres’ No. 3 prospect Luis Patiño entered for the sixth-inning and immediately struck out Gallo looking on a changeup. But the Rookie walked the bases loaded, and the Padres were in danger of blowing a six-run lead. Patiño then forced pinch-hitter, Jose Trevino, to pop-up to Myers, and the inning ended with San Diego still on top 6-4.

It’s not a surprise to see Drew Pomeranz come in relief for the seventh-inning. He has undoubtedly been the best bullpen arm this season, as he has proven he can either go three-innings if needed or close out games for San Diego. With Padres’ 2019 All-Star Kirby Yates likely done for the season due to injury, the Padres will look to use Pomeranz in tough-situations and may even go out and trade for another reliever.

He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh-inning and struck out Danny Santana swinging. The lefty struck out Gallo to start the eighth, and then that would do it for Pomeranz. Reliever Emilio Pagan came in to finish the inning and was told to go back out to close the game. Pagan retired the first two hitters and just needed one out. It wouldn’t be so simple as long-time Texas Ranger Shin-Soo Choo lined a single to right-center, and then a walk to Danny Santana would cause for Manager Jayce Tingler to bring in Cal Quantrill to get the last out. It took just three-pitches for the Stanford Alum to get Todd Frazier to fly out and end the ballgame.

The Padres won 6-4 and will head back to San Diego for two more games against the Rangers.

The game starts at 6:10 p.m.

Game Notes

  • Five Padres finished with multiple hits in the win.
  • Tatis Jr.’s first three at-bats had a hard-hit result. 1st AB – 109.2 mph exit velocity, 2nd AB – 105 mph, 3rd AB – 113.3 mph. He continues to be one of the toughest outs in baseball.
  • Adrian Morejon looked sharp. He looks to add to the Padres’ struggling bullpen.
  • Catcher Luis Torrens finished 0-for-2 with a walk in his 2020 debut.
  • Cal Quantrill earned his first career save.
  • The Javy Guerra experiment has not gone well. He raised his ERA to 14.73.

3 thoughts on “Myers hits early Grand Slam, defense shines as Padres beat Rangers 6-4

  1. Myers looks more focused this year. I’m not sure if it’s the words he’s heard from the new manager, a steady position and role, or what. But, it’s nice to see. It still seems like he’s bored and not focused at the plate on some at bats but, things are certainly better. His current play makes his contract tolerable.

    There was so much talk about dealing him for a six pack to be named later and pay half his contact. I’m glad we gave him this year of stability to prove himself. We have many young outfielders on the big league doorstep. I hope we’ll get a thorough look at them so informed decisions can be made on each.

  2. When will Yonder Alonso be brought up and I think everyone knows that Guerra’s career is in serious jeopardy. Cronenworth looks great! I believe the pitching is beginning to come around but we still need another big bat in the lineup. Hosmer still can not hit lefties. Does either Yonder or Naylor hit lefties better?

    1. Yonder is at the alternate training site at USD. Not sure if he will be called up anytime soon but we will see. Yonder is a career .234 hitter against lefties, and Naylor batted .298 in his rookie season against lefties.

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