The Padres hadn't scored a run in 20 straight innings. They were about to get shut out for a second straight game, but a prophetic phone call from Colombia changed everything.
Jorge Alfaro hit a pinch-hit, walkoff home run that traveled 449 feet to light up Petco Park and give the Padres a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon. Before the game he had talked to his mom, Consuelo Buelvas, to wish her a happy Mother's Day, and his mom made a rare prediction.
“She called it earlier, right before the game started. So, it’s a lot of emotions, you know.”
Jorge, saying he just wanted to make good contact and put the ball in play, swung at the first pitch he saw from Cole Sulser and did not miss.
“When I felt that and I saw the ball l’m like … that should go. I can’t explain the feeling right now it’s just unbelievable.”
Even before he got to home plate Alfaro realized his mom was a prophet, making the experience of his first career walk-off home run all the more special.
“I was running the bases and it was like dreaming, you know? It feels like a dream, like, how she knows that?”
For Alfaro, having a moment like this on Mother’s Day could not be more perfect.
“My family means a lot to me. That’s my life. That’s all I can think about every time I come to the field, every time I’m going to do something, I think of my family.”
His mighty blast saved a game that was headed the wrong direction, despite another strong start from Joe Musgrove.
In the 4th inning he gave up a run that almost didn't happen. Jesus Aguilar hit a fly ball to left-centerfield. Trent Grisham was playing the slugger in the right-centerfield gap and had to cover a ton of ground to get to the ball. He nearly did it. Grisham dove and the ball hit the back of his glove, just missing a highlight reel catch and giving Aguilar a leadoff double. He scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
In the 6th inning Musgrove gave up a solo homer to Jazz Chisolm Jr. for the only other mark on his day. The San Diego workhorse threw 108 pitches, 72 for strikes.
The Padres offense was struggling for most of the day. They entered the 9th inning with five hits, all of them singles.
Then magic happened.
Jurickson Profar singled to right then Grisham hit a grounder to the right side. 3rd baseman Joey Wendle, who was shifted, made a nice diving stop and tried to start a double play but his throw pulled Miguel Rojas off the bag and Profar was safe.
Until he wasn't.
Profar looked up and saw nobody covering 3rd base so he tried to take an extra bag. Pitcher Cole Sulser beat Profar to the bag and was tagged out, which looked like it would kill the rally. But, rookie C.J. Abrams singled with two outs and then Alfaro detonated a baseball that flew over both bullpens in left-centerfield, setting off a massive celebration at home plate.
The Padres are now 19-10 on the year. They open a 3-game series against the Cubs on Monday at Petco Park with rookie MacKenzie Gore on the mound against veteran Kyle Hendricks.
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