Clevinger Exits Early, Padres Struggles Continue in 5-2 Loss

Wednesday afternoon brought concern over the postseason availability of the team's newest starter, a critical component of their rotation.

In a clever tip of the cap to Mike Clevinger's nickname, a rendition of 'Aint No Sunshine' blasted from the speakers at Petco Park while the Padres pitcher warmed up Wednesday afternoon.

An inning later it seemed all too appropriate.

Clevinger's return from bicep tightness lasted just three outs in a 5-2 loss to the Angels. The righty was replaced by Adrian Morejon in the second inning.

Manager Jayce Tingler said Clevinger felt good before his start, but felt tightness return while facing his second batter of the day. The team took an MRI after his early exit.

Clevinger looked good in his brief appearance, retiring the Angels' top three batters in order. He had two strikeouts, with one coming against Mike Trout.

The starting pitcher, who was acquired from the Indians at the trade deadline, missed Saturday's scheduled start because of the bicep ailment. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Tuesday that Clevinger threw a bullpen Monday and was ready to go in their regular season home finale.

Clevinger's absence followed his best start as a Padre. He threw a seven inning complete game shutout September 13 against the Giants, allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts. He was expected to be in the running for starting duties in the team's postseason opener.

Morejon struggled immediately upon entering Wednesday's game. After walking Anthony Rendon, Morejon gave up back-to-back homers to Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton. Two batters later Anthony Bemboom followed with a line drive solo blast to right, giving the Angels a 4-2 lead.

Eric Hosmer got the game started offensively with a two-run opposite field blast off the Western Metal Supply Company building.

Beyond Hosmer's early blast, the Padres' bats struggled again. After striking out 13 times Tuesday, they did so nine more times in the two-game finale. Tingler's club has failed to score more than two runs in three of their last four games.

The loss also kept the Padres from moving closer to securing home field in the Wild Card series. Their magic number to do so was two entering Wednesday.

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