Slam Diego Padres sweep the Rangers in grand style

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Credit: AP Photo

The series grabbed the sports world attention when Fernando Tatis Jr. created unwritten rule controversy with his first career grand slam.

The Padres smelled blood in the water when the game started. They had Dinelson Lamet on the mound amid a breakout season that itself is worthy of being in the national baseball conversation. Kyle Gibson, his opponent on the bump, has been hit pretty quickly by the Padres lineup. Eric Hosmer came in with a .267 batting average and six RBIs against Gibson, a factor that would come into play.

To start the game, Wil Myers started the offensive production by hitting a single off of Todd Frazier’s glove. Manny Machado, who was on second after hitting a nice double, then made a heads up play and advanced home when no one was able to retrieve the ball.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Austin Hedges knocked a single to centerfield, adding to his increasing offensive production of late. Tatis Jr. continued his tear as he lined a single to left field, while yesterday’s hero Machado worked a walked to have bases loaded for Hosmer.

Hosmer, in his best year yet as a Padre, came through in the clutch. On a 1-1 count, he found an inside fastball and pulled it over the wall in left field. Just like that, the Padres made history, becoming the first-ever team to hit grand slams in four consecutive games.

Every previous year as a Padre, fans, and analysts have discussed how good Hosmer could be if he increased his launch angle. In his last two years as a Padre, his launch angle has been -1.4 and 2.1 degrees. This year, it has risen to 10.6, and the results have followed that change. His expected slugging percentage is .612, which placed him in the top 8% of batters this year. Hosmer delivered that home run with a 23-degree launch angle and a 103.4 mph launch angle.

On the pitching side, Lamet was able to work a solid outing despite looking off his usual self. His command was clearly an issue, but his stuff was as good as ever. In five innings, he managed to strike out nine batters while allowing three walks. In the 5th inning, Lamet gave up his first hit, and Jose Trevino immediately followed that hit with a two-run homer to left-center field. With his high pitch count, this was the last inning for Lamet.

With Michel Baez making his 2020 debut in the 7th inning, the Rangers had a bases-loaded opportunity for themselves. Similar to the Padres, they capitalized on it. Danny Santana drove a liner to left-center. The ball bounced off the heel of Trent Grisham’s glove. Three runs scored as Santana took second base.

The Rangers kept this momentum going in the 8th inning. A base hit by Jose Trevino knocked in Gallo, and, all of a sudden, the Rangers had a 6-5 lead.

However, the back half of the lineup was ready. Ty France homered to center to tie up the game, which kept Hedges in the game. Tingler had Greg Garcia in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit for Hedges, while France was up. When France tied the game, Austin Hedges stayed in the game for his defense. Hedges rewarded the Padres by launching a high home run to left field.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tingler opted to go with Emilio Pagán as Drew Pomeranz has been dealing with shoulder tightness and is being watched day-to-day. Pagán immediately surrendered a home run to Nick Solak, tying the game up in what was now a dramatic back-and-forth game.

After the Padres failed to get a run across in the ninth, they found themselves in extra innings for the second straight night. Pierce Johnson worked a scoreless top of the tenth as he issued a walk and struck out one batter along the way.

To start, the bottom of the tenth Wil Myers was placed on second as the new extra-innings rules require while young breakout rookie Jake Cronenworth. On a 3-1 count, he lined a ground ball to centerfielder Scott Heineman, whose fumbling of the ball allowed Myers, who was staying at third, to rush home and win the game for the Padres.

The Padres will take their momentum to face the Houston Astros as two of the hottest teams in baseball will play each other.

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