Padres defeat A’s 5-3 to take three-game series

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Getty Images

The three-game series against the Oakland Athletics is a potential look into how the Padres will perform in the playoffs.

San Diego has beaten quality starting pitchers. Their starting rotation limited runs, and the bullpen is returning to form.

Of course, a little bit of Fernando Tatis Jr. being… well, Fernando Tatis Jr. always helps.

A two-run blast from Tatis and seven innings of three-run ball from Garrett Richards put away the Athletics as the Padres took the final game of a three-game series with a 5-3 victory.

For a moment, it seemed like Oakland was ready to follow a similar script to yesterday’s ball game as a Matt Olson base hit scored Tommy La Stella from second base. La Stella reached base after a pop fly squibbed past left fielder Jurickson Profar.

Oakland’s starting pitcher, Mike Fiers, employed a strategy of taking his time on the mound and not throwing a pitch until it suited him, a bold strategy as the weather reached 94 degrees in Oakland.

Despite his time-consuming strategy, San Diego hitters consistently chipped away at both the soft-tossing Fiers and Oakland’s lead. Singles from Trent Grisham and Tatis brought up Eric Hosmer, who got ejected from Saturday’s game for arguing balls and strikes.

Hosmer had a similar case on Sunday, so instead of taking a ball up in the zone, the Padres’ designated hitter hacked at the pitch and lined it to right field to score Grisham. A Manny Machado sacrifice fly brought home Tatis to give San Diego a 2-1 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Olson, who went 5-9 in the three games with San Diego, drove in yet another run in the third inning to tie the game. However, had Oakland gotten their way in the second inning, the RBI single would’ve given them the lead.

After striking out Sean Murphy on a slider, the ball skipped away from catcher Jason Castro allowing Robbie Grossman to make a mad dash towards the plate. As Castro flipped the ball to Richards to apply the tag, it appeared as though Grossman slid underneath the tag of Richards. Much to the ire of the Oakland bench, Grossman was called out after the umpires convened for a video replay.

Wil Myers led off the fourth inning by taking a full-count walk and used his speed to score on Jake Cronenworth’s second double off the game. The rookie from Tampa Bay is making more than a strong case for National League Rookie of the Year with a .336/.389/.580 batting line and 18 extra-base hits to go along with exceptional defense at second base.

After only five innings of work, A’s manager Bob Melvin yanked Fiers from the game. While it was only five innings, Fiers made it seem like seven after his teatime on the mound.

Richards, on the other hand, blazed through seven innings of work, his longest outing since his Aug. 16 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite giving up three runs, Richards still threw 72 percent of his pitches for strikes while sitting down nine A’s by way of the K.

T.J. Mcfarland, the new relief pitcher, got through the sixth inning relatively unharmed and was therefore allowed to work the seventh inning. A leadoff single by Grisham changed that, and Mcfarland was pulled for Yusmeiro Petit… who promptly gave up Tatis’ fifteenth home run of the year.

Said home run tied Tatis with Mike Trout for the league lead in home runs. More importantly, it gave San Diego a lead that lasted for the rest of the game. Trevor Rosenthal, who has quickly endeared himself to the Friar Faithful with his 100 MPH fastball, got Tony Kemp to fly out to center field for the final out of the game.

The entire series with Oakland had the feel of a playoff series thanks to the offensive displays from both squads and timely pitching. All of these are experienced San Diego will need as the postseason rapidly approaches.

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Jason Freund
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show "Picked Off", for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.

1 thought on “Padres defeat A’s 5-3 to take three-game series

  1. Richards pitched great! Fiers was trying to put us and the umpire to sleep. It almost worked until the boys kept battling. Win every series! Go Pads!
    PS: The A’s have a valid complaint. He was safe. If they are going to take the time for a replay, then get the call right. Or Manfred, you are wasting everyone’s time. Geez! Fire Manfred!

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Jason Freund
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show "Picked Off", for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.