baseball

Late Rally Comes up Just Short for Padres

Friars nearly pull off big comeback but lose game and potentially a couple of starters in Arizona

The Padres offense had been dormant nearly four straight games but when it woke up it did so in a big way. It was just a little too late.

San Diego fell behind the Diamondbacks 7-1 before staging a furious rally that fell just short in a 7-6 loss. In fact, if Jorge Mateo had slightly longer fingers, they would have tied it up.

Looking for a way to generate some more offense manager Jayce Tingler shook up the batting order a bit. He moved Fernando Tatis Jr., who was the designated hitter for this game, from the leadoff spot to 3rd in the lineup. In the first inning Tatis Jr. made it look like a brilliant move.

El Nino hammered a solo home run to left field, his 9th dinger of the year to tie Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and future Hall of Famer Mike Trout for the Major League lead. It gave the Padres a 1-0 lead but the Friars managed just three more hits over the next six innings.

Cal Quantrill got his first start of the season and probably did enough to earn a second one. Quantill, who was being used as an opener, went 3.2 innings and struck out five while allowing one run.

Matt Strahm followed with 1.1 shutout innings. The issues started in the 6th. Arizona loaded the bases against Pierce Johnson, who fell behind Nick Ahmed 3-1 and had to get too much of the strike zone. Johnson's fastball was lined to left for a 2-run double. The DBacks scored four times in the inning then got two more in the 7th inning against David Bednar.

At that point San Diego, after having one of the best offenses in baseball for the first quarter of the season, had scored just four runs in their last 38 innings. In the 8th inning they finally got on the board again. Tatis Jr. walked and Eric Hosmer his a missile to right-centerfield for his 3rd home run of the year. The 2-run shot made it a 7-3 game.

In the 9th, things got nutty. Tatis Jr. delivered again, smoking a 2-run double to right-center to cut the lead to 7-5. Valhalla High School alum Greg Garcia followed with a single to score Tatis and make it a 1-run game. Rookie Jorge Mateo, known for his speed, pinch-ran for Garcia. Mateo took off for 2nd base and Jurickson Profar pulled a single to right field.

Knowing it would take a perfect throw to get Mateo, 3rd base coach Glenn Hoffman sent the runner. Arizona got a perfect throw and Mateo was called out to end the game. The Padres had the play looked at and some replays showed Mateo's hands may have beaten the tag but the officials in New York didn't see it that way.

To make matters worse, what had been a mostly healthy start to the 2020 MLB season for the Padres is no longer mostly healthy.

On Saturday morning the Padres placed All-Star closer Kirby Yates on the Injured List with an elbow problem (Yates is still undergoing tests to determine the severity and Bednar was recalled to take the roster spot). Hopefully Kirby was not the start of a trend.

Left fielder Tommy Pham left Saturday night's game with cramping in his calves. Fellow outfielder Wil Myers followed him with back tightness. Manager Jayce Tingler said the team will have to see how they feel when they wake up tomorrow before determining if it's a long-term issue.

Arizona takes the first two games of the series and goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon with Garrett Richards taking the mound against Robbie Ray.

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. 

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