So far the Padres have not done things easily. But they have done them well.
The Friars walked another successful tightrope in a 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks, taking the first three games of their 4-game series in Arizona. San Diego is 11-5 and still alone in first place in the National League West. They’re also on a 4-game winning streak, which matches the longest win streak they had in the entire 2018 season.
Once again, this win was a bit of a nail biter. The Padres took a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning when Eric Hosmer singled home Manuel Margot and Manny Machado with two outs. They doubled the lead in the 3rd inning when super prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a 417-foot home run to make it 4-0.
Tatis is tied for the team lead with four homers and leads the Padres with 10 runs batted in. Keep in mind he is a 20-year-old rookie.
San Diego lefty Matt Strahm made the best start of his professional career. Strahm tossed 5.0 innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts and no walks. He was in line for the win but the Diamondbacks scored all of their runs in the 6th inning.
Rookie reliever Gerardo Reyes gave up three hits and a walk and all of those runners scored, the last one coming when San Diego native Adam Jones brought in Carson Kelly with an infield single to make it a 4-4 game. But as they’ve done multiple times already this year the Friars answered right back.
In the 7th inning Franmil Reyes lofted a solo homer to right-centerfield to put the Padres back on top 5-4. Then the rest of the bullpen had itself a very interesting evening.
Robert Stock came in but left his command in the bullpen. Stock threw eight balls on nine pitches to walk the first two hitters he faced and was replaced by Trey Wingenter. The big righty immediately picked Jarrod Dyson off 2nd base … but walked Christian Walker and hit Eduardo Escobar to load the bases with one out.
The best way to get out of that kind of jam is with a double play ball. Wingenter got Nick Ahmed to bounce one right back to him and triggered at 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Brad Wieck threw a scoreless 8th inning and that set up Kirby Yates for the 9th. After giving up a leadoff double to Ketel Marte, Yates struck out the side to earn his MLB-leading 9th save of the season.
The Padres can sweep the D-Backs on Sunday when Eric Lauer takes the mound against Zack Greinke. It will also be the end of a 10-game road trip on which the Padres are already 7-2.