They call Philadelphia the City of Brotherly Love. Perhaps ironically, on Friday night it was brotherly love that led to them losing a baseball game.
Padres catcher Austin Nola lined an RBI single off his brother, Phillies starter Aaron Nola, to break a scoreless tie in the 6th inning and give the Friars a 1-0 win to even their 4-game series against Philly.
Rookie MacKenzie Gore got the start for San Diego. His career began with a historically good stretch until two straight really bad outings, both against the Rockies. On Friday night he faced the Phillies with a chance to see if he was really struggling or just had a bad matchup against Colorado.
The prized lefty still wasn't as sharp as we've seen him, but he showed that he has the ability to get big league hitters out even when he doesn't have his best stuff, and that's certainly progress.
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Gore only gave up three hits but walked four batters to put himself into several pickles. In the 3rd inning he allowed a single and walked a pair to load the bases in front of reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper. Gore got the slugger to pop out to shallow left field to end the threat.
In the 5th inning Gore got some help from fellow rookie CJ Abrams. Bryson Stott hit a line up the middle and Abrams leapt like he found a secret trampoline on the Petco Park infield, laying out to make a fantastic diving catch. It may have saved the outing for Gore.
He proceeded to put two on with another walk and a single, bringing up Harper again. This time the youngster froze Harper with a curve ball for strike three. Gore needed 97 pitches but he got through 5.0 shutout innings, which the Padres needed because Aaron Nola is pretty darn good.
The All-Star was matching Gore's zeroes until the 6th inning. Eric Hosmer doubled to left-center, bringing on the brother vs brother showdown. Austin was 0-for-4 in his career against Aaron. In their previous meeting the pitcher struck out the hitter with a fastball up and away. On an 0-2 count he went back to it again and his big bro was ready for it.
Austin hit a line drive to right field for a single that brought home Hosmer for a 1-0 lead. It was the only run Aaron gave up in 7.0 innings. It was the only run the Phillies gave up all night.
San Diego's bullpen made sure it was enough. Nabil Crismatt continued to make a case for an All-Star Game appearance with 2.0 scoreless innings. Luis Garcia struck out the side in the 8th. In the 9th Taylor Rogers gave up a couple of soft ground ball singles (one that should have been an out but Hosmer let it get by him) and a walk to load the bases but Kule Schwarber flew out to centerfield to end it.
On Saturday night the Padres send Blake Snell to the mound against former Friars farmhand Zach Eflin.
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