The San Diego Padres’ bats woke up in a big way on Saturday night, breaking a streak of three runs in three games, all losses, by the Padres. San Diego beat the White Sox 5-2 in game two of their three-game series a night after losing to Chicago 3-1 in a game that the Padres missed quite a few chances.
Mike Clevinger got the start for the Padres on a night where both the Phillies and Brewers lost (though Philadelphia won game two of their doubleheader with the Nationals). After giving up a leadoff home run to Elvis Andrus, Clevinger was spectacular. At one point, Clevinger retired 15 in a row. He was able to keep his pitch count down by attacking hitters and allowed just the one run on three hits while striking out three. Though his strikeout total was not what we usually see from Clevinger, he needed only 66 pitches to get through six innings.
The Padres had tied the game in the bottom half of the first inning on a Juan Soto solo home run, and the score remained the same through the sixth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Jake Cronenworth blasted a two-run home run to right field and gave the Padres a 3-1 lead. Simultaneously to Cronenworth’s home run in Milwaukee, the Brewers lost a ninth-inning lead on a two-run single by the Marlins. The Marlins would beat the Brewers, making the Padres magic number just two.
“Yeah, that was a good one. Especially the timing of it. It was pretty special,” said Cronenworth about his home run being at such an important moment.
The Padres would go on to add another run in the bottom of the sixth on an Austin Nola RBI single. Leading 4-1 in the seventh, Manny Machado joined the home run party at Petco and hit his 32nd home run of the season to the upper deck in left field. For Machado, the numbers continue to get better in his MVP-caliber 2022 season.
Pierce Johnson came into the game in the eighth inning and allowed a run to make the score 5-2, but Nick Martinez picked up the slack and slammed the door on the White Sox to end the inning, and Josh Hader threw a scoreless ninth to earn the save. With the win, the Padres’ magic number is cut to one with a chance to make the playoffs and win the series with Chicago tomorrow afternoon.
“We just gotta come out and play like we did tonight. One through nine, have good at-bats and good pitching and defense,” said Cronenworth after the game about what it’s going to take to get the job done tomorrow and win. Seems easy enough.
Blake Snell will take the mound with a chance to finish off what was a great second half of the season for the left-hander.