Padres take advantage of Blue Jays' help to stop losing streak

Kevin Acee, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Baseball

SAN DIEGO — Mike Shildt took his second sip from a water bottle as he considered how the Padres had wound their way to a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays at Petco Park.

"Well, my glass is more than half full," he said with a smile and a nod to the perspiring bottle in his hand. "I choose to look at the good stuff, and I'm not gonna ignore some of the things that didn't happen on the execution side that need to be cleaned up. That's fair. I do want to appreciate the fact that made some baseball plays in big situations."

The Padres played better Sunday, if in large part relatively, because they had spent portions of the previous two nights playing poorly.

They won, in large part because they ultimately took advantage of the Blue Jays returning some favors from the previous couple days and because Joe Musgrove and two relievers pitched well.

What Sunday's victory, which avoided a sweep and moved the Padres back to .500, really provided was a testament to what can happen when a team is not misplaying balls in the field and a starting pitcher is effective.

"You're always in a game if you pitch and play defense," Shildt said.

Musgrove allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings, departing with a 4-3 lead. Wandy Peralta worked a scoreless top of the eighth, and Robert Suarez worked a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.

With two outs in the sixth inning, the Padres broke a 2-2 tie and added what ended up being the decisive run on a walk and catcher interference call with the bases loaded. After the Blue Jays got back within one in the eighth, the Padres added two runs by capitalizing on the final three of their nine walks and getting a boost from two stolen bases by Ha-Seong Kim.

"We didn't cash in on our opportunities early," Jake Cronenworth said. "We did there at the end with some some really good at-bats."

The Padres' first run scored on an error by Blue Jays right fielder George Springer in the first inning, which ended with Jurickson Profar being picked off at second base with Kim at the plate and Manny Machado at third base.

The sixth was the second inning in a row they had the bases loaded with less than two outs.

A single by Jackson Merrill, walk by Tyler Wade and single by Xander Bogaerts brought Fernando Tatis Jr. to the plate with one out in the fifth. Tatis lined out to second baseman Davis Schneider, who threw to second base to double up Wade, who was well on his way to third base.

Turns out, there is margin for error, however, when not playing from way behind.

That has not happened the previous two days. The Blue Jays scored in the first inning in both of the series' first two games and led 5-0 after two innings Friday and 4-0 after two innings Saturday.

Musgrove did not allow that to happen Sunday, getting through the top of the first in seven pitches.

For the first time since Wednesday — a span of 19 innings — the Padres were not trailing when they came to bat.


And with some of the kind of help the Padres had given the Blue Jays the previous two days — committing a crucial first-inning error that led to three runs Saturday and paying for two gaffes that weren't ruled errors in the second inning Tuesday — the Padres had their first lead in four games.

Cronenworth singled with two outs in the bottom of the first and scored when Machado's single went under the glove of a charging Springer.

Musgrove had thrown just three balls to the first five batters he faced before going went to a full-count against Schneider and grooved a fastball that was hit into the seats beyond left field to tie the game.

Musgrove had another fastball launched over the left field wall, though this one was nowhere near the center of the plate. It wasn't even close to the strike zone, as Ernie Clement reached up for a pitch practically neck high to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead at the start of the second.

"I'd throw that pitch again 10 out of 10 times," Musgrove said.

Bogaerts' home run — his fourth hit in nine games and his first extra-base hit in that span — re-tied the game in the bottom of the third.

It remained that way until the sixth, when a single by Machado and walk by Profar ended Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt's day. Right-hander Trevor Richards promptly walked Kim to load the bases.

Merrill's dribbler in front of the plate resulted in Machado being forced at home before Richards walked Luis Campusano to bring Profar home with the go-ahead run. A grounder to the right side by Wade appeared to end the inning, but as the Blue Jays began walking off the field, home plate umpire Adrian Johnson signaled that Wade's swing had hit catcher Danny Jansen's glove, meaning Wade was safe and Kim had scored.

Musgrove retired 11 of the 13 batters he faced between Clement's homer and his hitting Justin Turner with one out in the seventh.

A hard grounder just fair down the line by Daulton Varsho likely would have scored Turner had the ball girl not mistakenly fielded the ball, resulting in a ground-rule double that forced Turner to stop at third.

In that Varsho almost certainly would not have had more than a double anyway, the ball girl was off the hook when Turner scored on Schneider's groundout to shortstop and Musgrove ended the inning on a fly ball to center field by Jansen.

Kim led off the inning with a walk, then with one out stole second and third while Luis Campusano batted. Campusano ended up walking before Wade was hit on the foot by a pitch from Nate Pearson to load the bases. In succession, Bogaerts walked and Tatis his a sacrifice fly that was caught at the left field wall to provide the three-run cushion for Suarez.

"We have a good team," Tatis said. "We can play ball in here. … So just clean it up a little bit more, and I feel like at the end of the road we'll be fine."


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