Padres win ugly game in extras

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

The Padres picked up just three hits and were in nearly constant danger of allowing the Rockies to take the lead. Nevertheless, they found a way to keep the game tied. The Rockies broke first, and Manny Machado was there to pounce. Despite not playing their best, the Padres won the first game of the twin bill.

Mike Clevinger had been expected to start for the Padres, but he was scratched late on Friday night. The Padres announced on Saturday morning that Clevinger and Adrian Morejon had both been placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Ray Kerr and Reiss Knehr came up from El Paso to replace Clevinger and Morejon, while Brent Rooker was called up as the 27th member of the team for the doubleheader. None of the three played in the day game. 

Nick Martinez, originally scheduled to start Sunday’s game, moved up into Clevinger’s spot. Martinez was excellent, allowing one run over 5.2 innings of solid pitching. He struck out nine batters, the most that he’s struck out in a start this season. He did not allow a hit in the first two innings before Yonathan Daza singled to start the third inning. Martinez and Jorge Alfaro combined for a “strike ’em out, thrown ’em out” double play, ending the third inning with Martinez having faced just nine batters. 

The Padres’ offense was very quiet early, as they had just one hit in the first five innings of the game. Fortunately for San Diego, the one hit was Trent Grisham’s home run in the third inning. Grisham swung at a first-pitch fastball, which went right down the middle. Grisham’s fourth home run of the season was deposited into the right-field seats, putting the Padres ahead. 

Things got much trickier for Martinez in the remaining innings. A single, combined with a ground-rule double from C.J. Cron, put runners on second and third base with just one out in the fourth. However, Manny Machado made a perfect throw to gun Connor Joe at the plate, keeping the Rockies off the board. Martinez struck out Ryan McMahon to get out of the jam. Martinez left two more runners on base in the fifth inning, working his way around a single and a walk. The Rockies finally got to Martinez in the sixth, when Charlie Blackmon reached on a wild pitch strikeout to start the frame. Brendan Rodgers doubled Blackmon home, tying the score. Martinez walked two more batters in the inning before leaving with two outs but with the bases loaded. Nabil Crismatt came into the game, inducing a crucial groundout to strand three more runners. 

Credit: USA Today Sports

With the game tied, it came down to which bullpen would break first. The Rockies came into the game with the worst bullpen ERA in the major leagues, which looked to put the Padres in an advantageous position. Crismatt stayed in the game for the Padres, but he surrendered two singles to the first three batters. Manager Bob Melvin chose to stick with Crismatt, and it paid off as the Padres turned their second double play of the game. The Padres’ tremendous defense was on display throughout, as three double plays helped the Padres work their way out of trouble many times. 

The Padres picked up just two singles in the final five innings of the game. San Diego couldn’t take advantage either time, as Manny Machado popped out with two runners on in the sixth before pinch-runner Sergio Alcantara was caught stealing in the seventh. 

Jorge Alfaro hit a 115.2 mile per hour line drive in the eighth inning, but the ball went directly to centerfielder Yonathan Daza, despite a 97% hit expectancy on Alfaro’s ball. Taylor Rogers and Daniel Bard traded perfect innings to send the game to extra innings, where Steven Wilson came onto the mound for the Padres. Wilson was clutch, striking out Connor Joe to start the inning. He picked up two more outs, keeping the game tied to go into the bottom of the tenth.

Luke Voit could not move Manny Machado over to start the tenth, racking up his third strikeout of the day. However, Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez spiked a pitch, which led to Machado charging for third base. Elias Diaz, who had just entered the game to play catcher, threw the ball away, leading to a scamper home. Machado beat the throw from the covering Jose Iglesias, winning wildly. Bob Melvin praised Machado, saying that “Manny’s legs have shown up this year.”, complimenting his hustle and aggressiveness.

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The Rockies had chances throughout, ending up with nine opportunities with runners in scoring position. They went hitless, as the Padres pitching came up with clutch outs when they needed it. 

It was not a pretty game, as the Padres were shut down offensively. Their pitchers made big pitches when they needed to, and the Padres found a way to win the sixth game out of their last seven.

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