The Padres starting rotation that's been so good this year had some struggles in Coors Field (as most pitchers do). So, the bullpen got a little more work than usual and could probably use a rest.
Yu Darvish got it for them.
The veteran righty tossed 7.0 innings, using 114 pitches to do it, in a 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday night at Petco Park to open the Friars' final series before the All-Star break. Darvish struck out nine and gave up a pair of home runs, which lately would have likely led to a loss. This time, however, his offense gave him a cushion.
Facing old nemesis Madison Burgarner, the Padres had a couple of nice innings early. In the 2nd, Austin Nola lined a 2-run double down the left field line and scored on a single from rookie Esteury Ruiz to give San Diego a 3-1 lead. The Padres got two more runs in the 3rd inning thanks to a Ha-Seong Kim RBI single and an RBI groundout from Nola.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Darvish took it from there, getting through his seven innings before handing it to new relief specialist Nick Martinez, who handled a scoreless 8th inning. Closer Taylor Rogers has been shaky of late, blowing two of his last four save chances, but he looked like his early-season self in a perfect 9th inning to earn the save.
Earlier in the day, the Padres got some more good news when Fernando Tatis Jr. was cleared to start swinging a bat again. It's the final major hurdle to get over before he can finally join the club. The Padres are going to ramp up his batting practices over time, seeing how his surgically repaired wrist handles each session as the all-world shortstop tries to get on the field for the first time since 2021.
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind-the-scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.