An early offensive explosion from the San Diego Padres pushed them to an 8-1 victory and a split series against the Colorado Rockies.
After falling to the Rockies on Saturday, the Padres’ record against Colorado dropped to 7-8 on the year, so it jumped back up to .500 at 8-8 Sunday afternoon.
Sunday was supposed to be Chris Paddack‘s turn in the rotation, but he aggravated his oblique during his bullpen session on Friday, so he went to the injured list. The Padres recalled Reiss Knehr to make a start in place of Paddack.
Knehr did not stay in the game for too long, getting pulled after three innings to avoid potential damage to the rookie. He only allowed two hits, but one of them traveled over the fence for a home run by Sam Hilliard.
“For [Knehr] to come back after making an adjustment, he came back and threw strikes while pounding the zone,” Tingler said. “That is exactly what you want to see. He didn’t beat himself. He went after guys. For him to give us the three innings after making the adjustment, I thought that was big, and I thought that was growth.”
With a day off for the Padres on Monday, they could afford to turn the ball over to the league’s best bullpen for six innings. Their dominance continued as they did not allow any runs while striking out ten Rockies.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 1, 2021
The bullpen had a ton of wiggle room on Sunday because the offense finally showed some life in this series. Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim each hit two-run doubles in the first inning to get the Padres out to a 4-0 lead. The first could have been even better had Jake Marisnick not been called out on strikes on a pitch that was off the plate and having the pitcher, Knehr, come up with two outs and end the inning.
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It took a couple more innings for the offense to get it going again, but Eric Hosmer smacked a pinch-hit double in the fourth inning to score one. Hosmer’s double started a streak of four consecutive innings of scoring a run. A recent problem for the offense had been a lack of scoring in several innings and just clumping in runs in two or three innings per game. If they want to continue to get better, they need to score more often rather than just in big lumps.
After the day off Monday, the Padres will wrap their games against the Oakland A’s with two games in Oakland. Blake Snell, who struggled in his last start against Oakland, will get the ball Tuesday.
Dominic is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Journalism. He also is the producer and co-host of the “Padres EVT Podcast.”