MLB

Better Late Than Never: Padres Ride Late Offense to Win Over Diamondbacks

Kim and Tatis come up with huge hits in the 8th inning to spark victory

For just about all of 2023 the Padres have almost made losing games late an artform. On Friday night they flipped their own script.

The Friars, no-hit through six innings, erupted for four of the loudest runs you'll ever hear in the 8th inning of a 4-0 win over Arizona on Friday night at Petco Park, rekindling the hope that maybe ... just maybe ... this team has a late postseason run in them after all.

Starter Seth Lugo tossed 6.0 innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts and the Friars needed it because for some reason Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt was borderline unhittable. The young righty took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Juan Soto finally broke it up with a double. But, the Padres didn't score until an inning later.

Gary Sanchez was hit by a pitch then Ben Gamel put down a gorgeous bunt. 1st baseman Christian Walker couldn't get it cleanly, giving Gamel an infield single and the kind of break this team has been looking for all year. Trent Grisham followed with a sac bunt of his own, perfectly dropped down the 3rd base line, to put the got-ahead run at 3rd base with one out, a situation San Diego has struggled mightily with.

Not tonight.

Ha-Seong Kim grounded an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a 2-run single to put the Padres on top 2-0. But, even with Josh Hader looming in the bullpen, it's always nice to get a little more cushion. Cue up Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis Jr. launched a missile 419 feet over the centerfield wall, bat flipping and flexing his way down the 1st base line as Petco Park reached an ear damaging decibel level. It was no longer a save opportunity but manager Bob Melvin was not messing around. He went to Hader, who struck out the side on 11 pitches to put it away and give the Padres a good feeling going into what's likely going to be a wild Saturday.

Due to Hurricane Hilary the Padres and Diamondbacks are playing a doubleheader (Sunday's game being moved to 12:10 pm on Saturday). The starter for the first game is still TBD but veteran Yu Darvish will be on the mound for the nightcap.

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