In the first two games of their weekend series against the Dodgers the Padres built a lead then watched L.A. chip away and win by one run. In the series finale on Sunday, San Diego again got up early.
They gave it away again. But redemption is named Hunter Renfroe.
Pinch-hitting with two outs in the 9th inning, Renfroe hit a walkoff grand slam to avoid a sweep and give the Padres an 8-5 win.
In every game of the series the Padres took the lead on a home run in the 1st inning. Manny Machado did it on Friday and Saturday. This time Franmil Reyes obliterated a Kenta Maeda fastball for his 9th homer of the year. The solo shot flew an estimated 458 feet and landed just short of the massive scoreboard in left field to put San Diego in front 1-0.
The Padres scored again in the 2nd inning. Valhalla High School alum Greg Garcia drew a 2-out walk and scored on a triple by catcher Francisco Mejia, the first three bagger of Mejia’s big league career. In the 4th inning the Padres padded their lead.
Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers walked. Hosmer scored on a double by Garcia and Myers came home on a sacrifice fly by Mejia to push the Padres lead to 4-0.
And then the young starting pitcher and bullpen let it all slip away again.
Nick Margevicious had a shutout going in the 5th inning but walked Corey Seager with two outs. David Freese followed with an opposite field single and Max Muncy unloaded on a 3-run homer to cut the lead to 4-3.
In the 8th inning another walk hurt. Robbie Erlin walked Muncy to lead off then got taken deep to left by Chris Taylor. The 2-run shot put the Dodgers up 5-4 right at the time the Padres offense went ice cold.
From the 6th through the 8th innings, seven straight San Diego hitters struck out. The Dodgers only had three hitters whiff in the entire game.
The Padres bats woke up just in time. Eric Hosmer led off with a single then Manuel Margot and Wil Myers followed with bunt singles to load the bases with nobody out. But Garcia struck out looking and Mejia popped out to first base to set up Renfroe’s dramatic blast.
So the Padres take one of three and climb back to within 2.5 games of L.A. in the National League West.
The Padres start a 3-game set on Monday night when the Mets arrive at Petco Park and the pitching matchup is going to be a dandy. Rookie sensation Chris Paddack gets the start against reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.