The Padres and Braves played a special MLB Leadoff game, a new thing that NBC's Peacock streaming service is trying this year. It's where an east coast game starts at 11:30 in the morning to give folks the chance to watch baseball all year.
This was the first time a west coast team has been involved and for San Diego it was a little different.
"I had a 6:30 am alarm, I've never had one of those in the big leagues," said outfielder Wil Myers.
Perhaps it was the 8:30 first pitch on their body clocks but the Friars started slowly before their offense got going in a 7-3, 11-inning win to take two out of three from the Braves and, for the time-being, take over first place all alone in the National League West (depending on the result of the afternoon's Dodgers-Phillies game).
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Even Joe Musgrove was not as sharp as we've grown accustomed to. He walked three hitters, matching his total for the entire season, but was able to avoid any major damage with six more strikeouts in 6.0 innings. Musgrove was touched up by a Dansby Swanson 2-run home run in the 4th inning that gave Atlanta a 3-0 lead.
In the 5th the Padres started to get the bats cooking, with help from some uncharacteristically shoddy Braves defense. Catcher William Contreras tried to pick off Austin Nola at 1st base but Matt Olson let the ball get right through him and into right field. Jurickson Profar scampered home from 2nd base to put the Friars on the board.
It would not be the last time they got some help from Atlanta's fielders.
In the 7th inning Myers singled to bring in Profar again, then advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Braves 3rd baseman Austin Riley, which turned out to be a big deal because Nola was able to bring Wil home on a sacrifice fly to tie the game 3-3.
San Diego's bullpen that has been a bit of a problem in 2022 came up huge on Sunday. Craig Stammen and Luis Garcia each threw a scoreless inning then Nabil Crismatt tossed 2.0 innings, allowing just one baserunner and striking out four. Their efforts pushed the game to the 11th inning, where the Braves defense cracked again.
Ha-Seong Kim led off with a line drive double down the left field line to score Jake Cronenworth and give the Friars their first lead of the day. Eric Hosmer followed with a grounder up the middle that was easily fielded by Swanson but his throw was in the dirt. Hosmer was safe and things went downhill quickly for Atlanta.
Profar hit a grounder to Ozzie Albies at 2nd base. Kim got a fabulous jump from 3rd base and, even with the infield in, beat the throw with a twisting slide around the catcher to make it a 5-3 game. Myers followed with a broken bat single to right that brought in two more.
It wasn't a save opportunity but closer Taylor Rogers came in to shut it down anyways, going 1-2-3 to give the Padres the win.
The Friars have an off day on Monday and start a 3-game set in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Mike Clevinger is scheduled to get the start in that one.
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