Shorthanded Padres Scratch Out Win Over 1st Place Cardinals

Machado's bat, Musgrove's arm enough to beat St. Louis in series opener

On Friday night at Petco Park the Padres opened a 3-game series against the Cardinals, the team with the best record in the National League.

The Friars knew they didn't have their top bench player (Jorge Mateo) or utility guy (Jurickson Profar), a pair of All-Stars (Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers), or one of the consensus top-5 talents in the game (Fernando Tatis Jr.), who were all out due to COVID-19 protocols.

Then they had to put another All-Star, reliever Drew Pomeranz, on the 10-day Injured List with a left shoulder impingement. Not many teams have the depth to overcome the loss of that many major pieces against a quality ball club.

Luckily they brought some M&Ms to the yard.

Manny Machado and Joe Musgrove led the way to a 5-4 San Diego win.

Machado put the Padres on the board in the first inning with a double to the gap in left-center that scored Trent Grisham for a 1-0 lead. San Diego pushed a couple more across in the 3rd inning because St. Louis starter Johan Oviedo couldn't find the strike zone with a GPS.

Oviedo started the inning walking Machado, Jake Cronenworth and Tommy Pham to load the bases with nobody out. Cardinals manager Mike Schildt brought in Jake Woodford, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Brian O'Grady that plated Machado to make it 2-0. Woodford then hit Austin Nola with a pitch to load the bases and followed that with a brain cramp.

Rookie Tucupita Marcano hit a grounder to Paul Goldschmidt at 1st. Goldschmidt tried to tag Austin Nola, who was called out for going out of the baseline avoiding a tag, but Woodford was late trying to cover 1st base so Marcano was safe and Cronenworth scored to make it a 3-0 game.

Musgrove had to battle through his start, too, but he got the big outs when he needed them. In the top of the 3rd the Cardinals loaded the bases for Nolan Arenado. Musgrove got him to hit a grounder to Marcano at 2nd base to start a double play made possible through some nifty footwork around the bag by shortstop Ha-Seong Kim.

Musgrove gave up one run with five strikeouts and four walks in 5.0 innings of work.

In the 6th inning Kim made another pretty play. With runners at 1st and 2nd, Musgrove got La Jolla native Tommy Edman to his a chopped up the middle. Kim scooped it up as his foot hit the base, leapt into the air and threw to Cronenworth at 1st to complete the double play.

The Padres padded the lead on another Machado RBI single in the 6th and a Kim sacrifice fly in the 7th. San Diego only had four hits but managed to leave 10 men on base thanks to Cardinals pitchers issuing 10 walks.

The Cardinals made it interesting in the 8th when Emilio Pagan hit Edmundo Sosa with a pitch and gave up a 2-run homer to Tyler O'Neill to cut the lead to 5-3. Arenado hit a solo homer off Mark Melancon in the 9th but the closer got Yadier Molina to ground out to end it.

On Saturday, Chris Paddack gets the start against Adam Wainwright as the Friars try to win another series.

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