Padres rout Arizona behind Matt Waldron

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A night after scoring ten runs, the Padres’ offense showed up yet again.

For the first time since the 2016 season, the San Diego Padres scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games at Petco Park.

Led by a strong start by Matt Waldron, the Padres’ offense put in an incredible offensive effort.

Jake Cronenworth had a four-RBI day, including his ninth homer of the season. Designated hitter David Peralta recorded three hits, including two for extra bases. One of his doubles came off a left-hander, which could factor into lineup construction for the Friars. Jackson Merrill’s quality of contact finally came through, as the Padres’ center fielder went 2-for-4 with a walk and two doubles, both hit over 100 mph off the bat.

Another offensive notable would be Ha-Seong Kim, who hit a home run for the second consecutive night. It’s a welcome development for the Padres’ shortstop, who is hitting .302 with a 1.003 OPS across the last two weeks.

On the mound, Matt Waldron delivered yet another quality outing.

The last time he faced these same Diamondbacks. Waldron allowed eight runs on eight hits in three innings. Since then, he had a 1.84 ERA in five starts. This time, Waldron pitched a gem, allowing one run on three hits over six innings, striking out four. Waldron was actually perfect through four innings, and was able to escape a bases=loaded, no out jam in the fifth only surrendering one run.

Waldron leaned heavily on the knuckleball and the sweeper, interestingly using the east-west movement of both pitches to keep Arizona hitters guessing. This sequencing allowed him to set hitters up for the fastball, as half his strikeouts came on that pitch. Now, Waldron has a 1.78 ERA in his last seven starts (counting tonight), and with the Padres facing uncertainty regarding Joe Musgrove’s injury timeline, the emergence of Matt Waldron has rewarded the team’s faith.

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Out of the bullpen, Stephen Kolek and Jhony Brito delivered three shutout innings of baseball. Kolek was looking for a major bounceback, as he had posted an ERA of 18.00 across his last six outings. However, on a week’s rest, Kolek delivered two shutout frames, punching out three of eight batters faced. His sinker seemed to have been located better, as he was using it to establish the zone, setting up his changeup for the strikeouts.

Johnny Brito was able to be effective as well, recording three outs on nine pitches, aided by a stellar diving play by Jackson Merrill.

With a series split at least secured, the Friars go for the series victory tomorrow. Adam Mazur makes his second big league start in the game at 1:10 pm.

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