Padres ride early home runs to end losing streak

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Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

One night after a stalled comeback, Mike Shildt’s Padres came to play.

San Diego teed off on Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt, with their hard-hit ball luck finally turning a corner. Fernando Tatis Jr and Jurickson Profar went back to back in the first inning to put San Diego up early, and Luis Campusano drove in a third run off the Diamondbacks starter. It was a hopeful sign of things to come for Campusano, as the Padre catcher had a three-hit night for the first time since April 2nd against St. Louis.

Michael King had what could best be characterized as an “effectively wild” outing. King threw 98 pitches over five innings of work but only allowed four hits. King was able to keep the D-Backs hitters off balance thanks to a blend of sequencing and timely pitches, with three of his five strikeouts coming with runners on. It was yet another quality outing for the right-hander, as he has posted a 2.36 ERA over his last seven starts.

The Padres’ bullpen faltered in the seventh, as Wandy Peralta allowed three runs in the frame, bringing the game within two runs. Despite the tension in the air, Jeremiah Estrada was able to  bounce back after last night’s outing to record 1.2 scoreless innings in relief, striking out three batters. Estrada had nine consecutive scoreless innings before yesterday, so today’s outing looked like the start of another streak for the emerging right-hander.

Where had the offense been at Petco this season? Not where they were tonight, as the team came alive for five runs in the eighth. Four of the Padres’ 5 hits with runners on came off balls hit over 90 mph, with the lone exception being Profar’s bases-clearing double (clocked in at 87.6 mph). Jackson Merrill and Ha-Seong Kim worked critical at-bats to lead off the inning and set up the offensive eruption.

The Padres went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and successfully moved their runners productively without making outs on the bases. The lack of outs on the bases bodes well for this team, as baserunning mistakes played a role in their recent 5-game skid.

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All-Star Game Worthy?

Earlier today, our East Village Times correspondent Nick Lee wrote about some Padres who could make a push for the All-Star Game.

On Friday, two of those players strengthened their cases. Fernando Tatis Jr now has a hit in all games this month, and Jurickson Profar recorded a four-RBI game. Certainly, their production is All-Star worthy, and hopefully, both make their way into the starting lineup in Arlington next month.

The Padres continue their series against Arizona tomorrow, with Matt Waldron on the mound. First pitch is at 5:40pm.

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