Wacha, Machado lead Padres to 6-1 win over Minnesota Twins

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Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres began their three-game road series against the Minnesota Twins with a 6-1 win at Target Field this Tuesday, May 9. Michael Wacha pitched a fantastic game, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings of work.

Bob Melvin commented on Wacha’s performance after the game. “He wasn’t gonna go more than six (innings) anyway, regardless of what his pitch count was at this point. Other than just one outing, he’s been really good for us, and this is gonna be a tough place to pitch to”, Melvin said.

The game was a pitching duel for most of it, as Louie Varland also allowed just one run in six innings pitched. The lone run allowed by the rookie pitcher came in the fourth inning when Matt Carpenter drove in Juan Soto with a single after “Childish Bambino” had hit a double.

Some fatal defensive errors really cost the Twins in the seventh inning, as the Padres were able to take advantage and start a rally. With Griffin Jax now on the mound, Ha-Seong Kim reached first base on a throwing error by Alex Krilloff to start the inning.

Trent Grisham then reached base on a walk, and as Austin Nola tried to bunt over the runners, Kim stole third base, which was completely unattended by Juan Miranda. Nola continued to look for the squeeze play with no outs and was successful, bringing in Kim and advancing Grisham to second on the bunt.

With one out, Fernando Tatis Jr. reached base on a fielder’s choice, then on a stolen base attempt and a throwing error by Twins’ catcher Christian Vazquez, Tatis made it all the way to third base. The miscues continued for Vazquez and the twins as the Minnesota backstop attempted a pickoff on Tatis Jr., which hit him on the back and rolled away, allowing the Dominican star to score from third base.

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Bob Melvin talked about this seventh-inning rally after the game. Melvin said, “We’re just trying to play to the scoreboard, really. Wacha pitches a great game, now we got some guys in there to finish it out, but we need that on more than a run or two.”

The Padres had a 3-1 lead heading into the ninth inning, where Manny Machado was able to extend that lead with a three-run home run to drive in Austin Nola and Jake Cronenworth to make it a 6-1 game.

Tim Hill ran into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth but was able to pitch out of it unscathed to close out the ballgame. Luis Garcia, Steven Wilson, and Nick Martinez all also did not allow any runs in the game, as the Padres’ pen was on point in Minnesota. Apart from Machado, Juan Soto also had a spectacular day at the plate, as he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.

San Diego now improves to 19-17 on the season and is two and a half games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Padres will continue their series against the Twins on Wednesday, May 10, as Seth Lugo takes on Pablo Lopez in what has the potential to be another great pitching duel.

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