Padres defeat Nationals 9-7 in potential Game of the Year

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The Padres take the first two against Washington to win the series at Petco Park. Has a new rivalry been born?

The San Diego Padres defeated the Washington Nationals 9-7 in what many will consider an early contender for the 2024 Padres Game of the Year.

“We have been showing it all year,” Manny Machado said postgame when asked about the character of the team. “It is going to take all 26 of us to win and you know, whenever one guy goes down the next guy steps up. So it’s been good, every single day we go out there we prepare, we work, we care for each other, and we try and pull the same rope.”

Tuesday night’s contest could not have started any better if you are a baseball fan. In just the very first inning, Keibert Ruiz got into it with Jurickson Profar as the left fielder was stepping into box and it forced Machado to try and defuse the conflict. Instead, the benches cleared. What happened next was interesting, to say the least.

After both sides were issued a warning, McKenzie Gore then hit Profar on the foot with a fastball on the very next pitch. Mike Shildt ran out of the dugout furious as to why Gore was not ejected and, instead, got ejected himself.

“I know you guys wanna know but that stuff stays on the field,” Machado said about the early drama. “We are just lucky nothing happened there we took care of it and played some really good baseball and put on a show in front of the fans tonight.”

Gore remained in the contest. On the very next pitch, Manny slammed a 2-run shot to left field over the head of Jesse Winker, who was also a part of the drama last night and in this game.

The Padres had a quick 2-0 lead. However, it did not last long. The Nationals battled back and took the lead in the top of the 3rd inning as Adam Mazur had trouble getting outs. Winker got his revenge quickly as he smashed a shot over the right field porch.

Mazur kept the Padres in the game and in the bottom of the 5th, San Diego retook the lead thanks to clutch hitting from Luis Arraez, Jake Cronenworth, and Donovan Solano. Cronenworth smashed a RBI single to left-center field and advanced to second as Machado advanced to third. Solano then smashed a hit which hit Luis Garcia Jr. in the glove, resulting in two runs to take the lead, 5-4.

Wandy Peralta took over for Mazur in the top of the 6th. He pitched a clean inning to keep the score where it was.

You will never guess what happened in the bottom half of the inning, or maybe you will.

Profar came up with the bases loaded, but there was only one thing on his mind. He smashed a grand slam just to the left of the right field foul pole to put the Friars up 9-4. Petco Park went crazy.

In a show that starred Profar as the main character, he delivered the only way he knew how in the most dramatic fashion possible. His smile does wonders to this clubhouse and there is no doubt his signing is one of the biggest in the history of the franchise.

D.C. made things interesting late but, ultimately, fell short as Lane Thomas popped up to Jake Cronenworth to end the contest.

The Padres will aim to sweep the series with Dylan Cease on the mound on Wednesday afternoon.

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McKenzie Gore

Gore could have easily been tossed after the plunk to Porfar. Instead, he remained in the game and allowed just the homer from Machado as the only hit in three innings. The Friars got to him in the 5th as he allowed three more runs and would go on to earn the loss against his former team.

Gore ended the night going 5.0 innings, allowing five hits, five runs, walked three, and only had one K.

Adam Mazur

Mazur pitched a great first inning, which even saw him pick off Abrams. However, since that inning, he allowed five hits in two innings which scored four runs for the Nats. In a game that began to have a ton of magnitude, Mazur needed to pitch quality innings. His final two innings were solid, as he didn’t allow a hit, keeping his team in the game.

Mazur ended the night going 5.0 innings, allowing six hits, four runs, and walked one. He did not strike out anyone.

News & Stats

  • Mazur earned his first career win in a contest he wasn’t originally scheduled to start.
  • The first and only K for the Padres came in the 9th when Robert Suarez came in for the save. The last time the Padres won a game without striking anyone out was back on April 24, 1990.
  • San Diego is now 2.5 games ahead of Washington in the NL standings.

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