Quantrill strong as headliner, Mejia clutch, Padres beat Cubs 5-1
The Padres desperately tried to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Adrian Morejon, making his major league debut, served as the “opener” for San Diego, meaning he would basically be treated as a relief pitcher to give the Padres a head start before putting the actual starting pitcher in, Cal Quantrill. The 20-year old was part of a flurry of moves before the game, and he battled and performed well, given the fact that he has not pitched about Double-A.
Morejon faced runners on second and third with one out but limited the damage to one run in the first inning. He finished with just one earned run in 2 1/3 innings pitched with no walks and one strikeout.
Quantrill took over in the third and was electric from the start. He tossed 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball with zero walks and six strikeouts, his best performance of his young major league career. He faced no more than four hitters in any inning he pitched.
The Friar bats picked up Quantrill’s strong effort in the fifth inning. Luis Urias worked a one-out walk and then got to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Quantrill. Fernando Tatis Jr. then singled home Urias, tying the game at one in what was a sight that Padres fans hope to see for many years to come.
San Diego took the lead in the top of the seventh when Francisco Mejia led off with a home run, his fourth of the season, giving San Diego a 2-1 lead.
When Francisco Mejía connects, it'll GO! This solo HR gives the @Padres a late lead!#FriarFaithful pic.twitter.com/T7AN8D0hWb
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) July 21, 2019
Quantrill finished the eighth inning with little drama as the Padres entered the ninth inning up by one and in need of insurance runs before facing the meat of the Cubs lineup.
The Padres loaded the bases in the top of the ninth after Urias worked his second walk of the game. Greg Garcia was then hit by a pitch, scoring a run and extending the lead to 3-1. The adding on did not end there as then Tatis promptly lined a two-run single into right field, giving the Padres a 5-1 cushion to work within the bottom half of the ninth.
Kirby Yates came in even though it was not a save situation as he has only pitched twice since the All-Star break. He retired the Cubs without incident, sealing the 5-1 win for the Padres.
San Diego moves to 47-52 in what has been a tough July, this being only their fifth win next to 11 losses. The Friars will have a day off on Monday before starting a series with the New York Mets at Citi Field on Tuesday in their last stop of the road trip.
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.
Cal! He wasn’t just good, he was very efficient. He could have easily gone 7 or 8 innings.
Speaking of INeffient, are they really going to have Morejon pitch TWO innings every fifth game?