Oracle Park- San Francisco, California
The San Diego Padres were looking to win consecutive games since September 4-5 and split the four-game series in San Francisco. On San Diego’s side, manager Jayce Tingler opted for a bullpen day given the dire condition of health the starting rotation is in. Pierce Johnson got the nod as the opener.
The Friars did not take long to get going, as they scored in the top of the second thanks to sacrifice fly by Trent Grisham. Fernando Tatis Jr. added a run in the third with a solo homer, his NL-leading 39th of the season.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 16, 2021
Tatis is now one homer shy of 40, which has not been reached by a Padres hitter in a season since 2009 when Adrian Gonzalez reached the plateau. He would become just the fifth Padre ever to reach 40 home runs.
The Padres added to their lead yet again. Jurickson Profar and Tatis led off the top of the fifth with two singles ahead of a double by Tommy Pham, scoring two runs and extending San Diego’s lead to 4-0.
Meanwhile, after Johnson tossed a scoreless first inning while striking out two, Nabil Crismatt took over on the mound for the Padres. He boosted the team with four shutout innings, scattering three hits and a walk.
After the game, Tatis weighed in on Crismatt’s key performance. “He stopped a really good offense for them. That was huge for us. We definitely needed that from him today,” he told Bally Sports San Diego.
Tatis also played his sixth straight game back at shortstop after a spell in the outfield. “It feels like coming back home,” he said.
Austin Adams struggled with the control issues that have plagued him on and off throughout the season and allowed a run on a wild pitch. Daniel Hudson came in and finished the bottom of the sixth without further damage.
LaMonte Wade Jr. lined an RBI double off of Hudson in the seven-inning, cutting the lead to two. However, Hudson was able to strike out Kris Bryant when he represented the tying run to end the threat.
Looking to add to a precarious lead, the Padres bats came through in the eighth. Wil Myers extended the lead with a pinch-hit RBI double. Tatis worked a walk ahead of Manny Machado, who blooped a two-run single to boost the lead to 7-2 over the Giants heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Mark Melancon entered the ninth inning. It was not a clean inning, as the Giants scratched across a run due to two singles and a wild pitch. Melancon composed himself to get the third out and seal the win and the series split.
Given how the last few weeks have gone for the Padres, a series split on the road against the first-place Giants seems like it could be a turning point for momentum. The team will find that out quickly as they begin a massive series against the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend, who currently occupy the second Wild Card spot.