Padres squander opportunities in 4-3 loss

Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive game, the San Diego Padres had a big two-run home run, but they couldn’t come up with enough offense to scrape past the Milwaukee Brewers in a frustrating extra innings affair.

It was about as bad of a start as it could have been for the Padres, as Nick Martinez surrendered a two-run home run to Rowdy Tellez, the third batter of the game. Tellez brought home Christian Yelich, who started the game with a leadoff walk. However, Martinez settled into the game well after a great running catch from Trent Grisham

Manny Machado did his part to cut into the lead, mashing his first home run of the year in the first inning. He sent a middle-middle fastball the other way, bouncing it off the top of the right-field wall. That cut San Diego’s deficit in half, but it was also the only bright spot in the Padres’ terrible offensive performance. Xander Bogaerts sent a weak opposite-field single to right field later in the first, but those two hits were all the Padres could muster against Colin Rea.

Rea, who spent his first two years in the major leagues in San Diego, stifled his former team in fantastic fashion. He went 5.2 innings, allowing just the two hits and a walk, while striking out six Padres hitters. 

For the first four innings, Rea was matched by Martinez, who allowed just one hit between the second, third, and fourth innings. Unfortunately for the Padres, Martinez was the first to blink, as he allowed Mike Brosseau to homer to kick off the fifth inning. He managed to not allow any more runs across his final two frames, but the Padres offense couldn’t pick him up. It was the best start of the year for Martinez, but two major mistakes doomed him to take the loss. “Six innings, three runs, we should be able to overcome that.”, said Bob Melvin post-game.

Bogaerts’ second single of the night in the seventh ended a streak of 13 consecutive batters that were retired. It had also been 18 straight plate appearances without a Padre reaching base. Briefly, it appeared that San Diego’s offense might awaken against reliever Peter Strzelecki, who allowed a second consecutive hit to Nelson Cruz. That threat ended when Jake Cronenworth ended a seven-pitch battle with a ground ball to the right side, which turned into a double play.

After a potential rally died in the seventh, one came out of nowhere in the eighth. Ha-Seong Kim and Rougned Odor were unceremoniously retired before pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter earned a walk. Trent Grisham got a hanging curveball from Matt Bush; he turned on it well, getting just enough of it to send it over the out-stretched glove of Joey Wiemer, tying the game at three.

With the Padres tied at home, Josh Hader came into the game to work the ninth inning. Despite the fact that he was coming off a difficult outing on Tuesday night in Queens, Hader carved through the Brewers, setting down all three batters that he faced. 

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell chose to bring in his closer, Devin Williams, to try and set down the heart of San Diego’s order. Williams was absolutely fantastic. He carved through the heart of the order, striking out Juan Soto, Bogaerts, and Cruz. “We felt like we were in {a} pretty good position. Obviously, it didn’t work out for us tonight.”, said Melvin after the game.

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With the Padres into their first extra innings game of the year, Bob Melvin chose to trust Luis Garcia to work the tenth inning. It wasn’t pretty from Garcia, and a double steal from Milwaukee put two runners in scoring position with no outs. “We’re trying to get quicker to the plate. We have some other things we’re going to try. We just have to give our catchers a chance.”, said Melvin after the game. However, the Padres limited the damage to just one run, meaning San Diego had a good chance to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

With the Padres needing to find a way to manufacture a run, they failed to play small ball. Jake Cronenworth sent a ground ball to the left of Brandon Dixon, who was gunned down by a great play from Willy Adames. Kim then sent a line drive back up the middle, but it was right at Garrett Mitchell. The Padres caught a break when Jose Azocar reached on an infield single, putting the tying run back in scoring position. However, Joel Payamps got Luis Campusano to strike out on three pitches, ending the game. 

The Padres used Trent Grisham to get their way back into the game, but they failed to take advantage of their chance, squandering a pair of opportunities to walk it off. They’ll continue the series with Milwaukee on Friday when former Padre Eric Lauer faces off against Michael Wacha.

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