Peralta’s blast helps Padres steam past Rangers

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David Peralta hit plenty of go-ahead hits against the Padres in past seasons. Now, he did it on their side.

The man known as “The Freight Train” turned on a middle-middle changeup from Rangers reliever Dane Dunning and walloped it at 107 mph off the bat into the bullpens in right-center.

The veteran slugger was two for his last 18 across his last ten games, and based on his reaction to the homer, Peralta needed it. “About time, huh,” Peralta would say in his post-game interview.

The Padres’ offense, after an uncharacteristic shutout, came to play, recording two walks and 13 hits in the ballgame. Every member of the starting lineup got at least one hit in the game, with four players notching multi-hit games. Manny Machado entered the game hitting .364 against Rangers starter Jon Gray, and his successes continued with a two-run home run in the third inning. The Padres’ third baseman is finding his form at the right time, as if the Padres want to make a playoff run, Machado playing well is an important piece.

Elsewhere on the offense, Jackson Merrill and Luis Arraez continued to drive in runs, with Merrill squibbing a ball to third for an RBI infield single.

Arraez tied the game in the sixth inning with an RBI single to left field off Rangers southpaw Jake Latz. Despite being a left-handed batter, Arraez has hit well against left-handed pitching this season, with the RBI single bringing his season line against southpaws to a .280 batting average. Donovan Solano earned two singles of his own, reaching base to set up the Peralta home run.

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Padres starter Adam Mazur had another mixed outing. Mazur was dominant over the first two frames but would allow seven hits across the third and fourth innings. Corey Seager would tie the game on an RBI double against Mazur, with Rangers third baseman Josh Smith driving in Seager for the go-ahead run.

Jonah Heim brought across the Rangers’ fourth run with a fourth-inning sac fly, but that would be all the scoring for the Rangers against the Padres’ pitching staff. Mazur finished the game with four runs and seven hits allowed, walking none and striking out four. While the final line does not look great, improvements in command are a positive sign for the 23-year-old.

San Diego’s bullpen has performed better after a skid in late June, not allowing a run across the final five innings of the game. Yuki Matsui struck out four batters across 1.1 innings, getting whiffs on six of 13 swings against him (46%).

Adrian Morejon’s emergence continued in relief, as the left-hander tossed 1.2 scoreless innings on 16 pitches, retiring all five batters he faced while getting whiffs on 43% of Ranger swings. The duo of Jeremiah Estrada and Robert Suarez closed out the final two innings, with Estrada striking out two with the help of his newly found slider, and for the fifth time this season, Robert Suarez recorded a save longer than three outs. Suarez’s feat is notable, as the last time a Padre closer recorded a save of more than three outs in a regular season game was Taylor Rogers’ four-out save against Philadelphia on May 19, 2022.

The Padres look to win their fourth consecutive series tomorrow, with Michael King on the mound against future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer. The first pitch is at 11:35 a.m., so if you’re having a Fourth of July barbeque, set your alarm to tune in, be it on Padres TV or 97.3 The Fan.

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