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Padres gain, maintain in wild-card race with victory over Rockies

Kevin Acee, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Baseball

DENVER — The Padres waited long enough Saturday night to make another Coors Field crash feel almost likely.

A pitcher they had punished here and in San Diego came within an out of a quality start.

The Padres scored three runs against the Rockies’ Chad Kuhl and held a slim lead, but they squandered enough opportunities to activate memories of a litany of losses here.

As the Padres languished at the plate, the scoreboard on the right field wall reflected the Brewers’ growing lead in Cincinnati. By the fifth inning, the “F” signifying the Brewers’ victory over the Reds was final went up.

At that point, the possibility existed that the Brewers’ four-game winning streak would by the end of the night have them within one game of the Padres for the first time since Aug. 18.

Then the Padres had their best inning of the season at the place where they generally play the worst, scoring six runs in the seventh to open a seven-run advantage that led to a 9-3 victory.

 

The win was the Padres’ second in nine games this season at Coors Field and, most crucially, moved them a half-game ahead of the Phillies and maintained their two-game lead on the Brewers. The three teams are vying for two available National League playoff spots.

The Padres’ magic number dropped to eight, meaning any combination of Padres’ victories or Brewers losses equaling eight would clinch a Padres playoff berth. Both teams have 10 games remaining. The Phillies have 11.

The top of the Padres’ batting order and Yu Darvish got the bulk of the credit Saturday.

Six of the first seven Padres runs were scored by the first four batters in their lineup. Cleanup hitter Jake Cronenworth drove in three runs, and No. 3 hitter Manny Machado drove in two.

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©2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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