Max Stassi, Griffin Canning and the Los Angeles Angels cooled off the playoff-bound San Diego Padres two days after they clinched their first playoff spot in 14 seasons.
Stassi had two impressive home runs among his four hits and Canning struck out 10 in six crafty innings to lead the Angels to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.
The loss, plus St. Louis’ 5-0 win at Kansas City, kept the Padres from clinching the NL’s No. 4 seed in the playoffs and homefield advantage in the wild-card round next week. On Sunday, the Padres clinched their first playoff spot since 2006 by beating Seattle 7-4 in 11 innings.
The Padres have the NL’s second-best record behind the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres struck out 13 times and got just four hits.
Rookie manager Jayce Tingler said the Padres have been pressing a bit offensively recently, and it definitely showed Tuesday night.
“I was hoping tonight we would relax a little bit and kind of settle in to some more at-bats,” Tingler said. “We did that certainly early; at end of day, Canning just did a really good job of mixing his pitches. The strikeouts stacked up on us. Some of that was he had a really good pitch arsenal tonight that got us a little bit out of whack.”
Both of Stassi’s homers were off Zach Davies (7-4). In the first inning, he hit a two-out shot an estimated 436 feet out to the bullpens in left-center. In the sixth, he hit a two-run moonshot to what is normally a beer deck in right-center for a 3-1 lead. He has seven this season.
Canning (2-3) held San Diego to one run and two hits while walking five. Four of Canning’s walks came early as he loaded the bases with no outs twice in the first three innings and escaped by allowing just one run.
Eric Hosmer, whose grand slam on Aug. 20 made the Padres the first team to hit a slam in four straight games, came up with the bases loaded and no outs in the first and hit a sacrifice fly. Fernando Tatis Jr. was thrown out trying to steal third and Tommy Pham struck out.
The Padres loaded the bases with no outs in the third and Manny Machado, who hit the third grand slam in the Padres’ record streak, hit into a 1-2-3 double play and Hosmer took a called third strike.
Canning ended the fifth by striking out Tatis on a curveball.
Tatis slapped his bat in frustration.
“Tatis is who he is for a reason. He’s an awesome player to watch,” Canning said. “For me to throw that pitch, kind of broke out my old curveball there. To get that reaction, it felt good for sure.”
Davies allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out five and walked three.