Padres outduel Braves in Friday night slugfest

Padres

Credit: Associated Press

Credit: Associated Press

The San Diego Padres took Game 1 against the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves in an offensive slugfest. 

Entering the game, it seemed to be set for a low-scoring affair. For the first two innings, both Yu Darvish and Max Fried obliged as they had the batters off-balance to begin the game.

The Padres broke through in the third inning, Ha-Seong Kim single for the first of his three hits and Austin Nola double to leave runners at second and third with no one out. Jose Azocar hit a sacrificed fly to bring Kim and advance Nola to third. The Padres could not take advantage further as Fried punched out Jake Cronenworth, who had a tough four-strikeout night.

In the bottom half of the third, William Contreras hit a home run over the bullpen in right-center field to tie the game at 1-1.

Two out magic led the next rally for the Friars. In the top of the fifth, with runners on second and third, the Braves intentionally walked Manny Machado. Given his scorching start to the season, and the ability to set up the lefty on lefty matchup, it seemed the prudent move. The only thing is Eric Hosmer is perhaps as hot as he’s been in a Padres uniform. Hosmer laced a two-RBI single to put the Padres back on top 3-1. 


The Braves would answer in their half as they brought one run in but left runners on the corners as Darvish punched out Matt Olson and got Austin Riley to pop out to the centerfielder ending the threat.

In the top of the sixth, Wil Myers hit a laser beam to center for his first home run of the season and extended the lead back to two runs at 4-2. 

The lead would be short-lived as Atlanta, with two outs in the sixth, would take the lead for the first time. In the inning, Darvish got two quick outs, but Ozzie Albies roped a double to start the Braves’ two-out rally. Darvish bounced back, inducing what should have been an inning-ending pop-up to the shallow right field. Myers looked to have the play under control, but the ball clanked off his glove allowing Albies to cross the plate.

It was not a routine play, but if you ask Myers, odds are he would say he needs to make the play. This non-error, called a hit, followed by another two-out single, chased Darvish from the game. The Padres called upon Robert Suarez to finish off the last of the inning with two runners aboard. He was greeted by a Dansby Swanson three-run home run to give Atlanta its first lead of the night at 6-4. It also put Darvish in a position to take the loss and charged with five earned runs. After walking the next two batters, Suarez was able to strike out Austin Riley to stop the bleeding.

It did not take long for the Padres to reclaim the lead. Hosmer led off the top of the seventh with a single, and Myers fought off a fastball to put runners at first and second with one out. Kim continued his hot hitting with a three-run home run to take back the lead at 7-6. 

That score would hold for the next few innings until the top of the ninth when Hosmer once again reached base with a leadoff single, his third hit. Voit ripped a double down the left-field line. The seemingly all-important insurance run was tacked on by a Myers sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 8-6. The offense, however, was not done, Kim added to his night with a single (his third hit of the evening), and Nola walked to load the bases. Instead of giving Azocar the righty on righty matchup, substitute skipper Ryan Christianson called upon Trent Grisham to pinch-hit. He whacked a double the opposite way chasing home all three Padres baserunners to extend the lead to 11-6.

Taylor Rogers came on in the eighth to get the final out when the game was in doubt, and the extended lead made it a less stressful save opportunity in Atlanta’s half of the ninth. Rogers retired the side in order, a welcome sign after his recent shaky appearance against Chicago.

The Padres will look to take the first two games of the three-game series in Atlanta tomorrow as LHP Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.75 ERA) takes on RHP Charlie Morton (2-3, 5.65 ERA).

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James Kenyon
San Diego born and raised. Padres and Everton supporter… yes I’m a masochist. I’m a sports junkie with a love of stories. Hopefully we can learn a few things together on this adventure.
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Ed E
Ed E
4 months ago

Yes, it was a tough catch, and Myers should have caught that pop up, but he had to run 100 to 150 feet. Hosmer was about 30 to 40 feet away. The ball landed near the infield dirt, right near Hosmer. So he should be blamed far more than Myers.

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