The Padres offense has been dramatically affected by the return of Yangervis Solarte to the starting lineup after an early season DL stint. Unfortunately he couldn’t quite carry the load Saturday in a 8-7 loss to Arizona.
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Vargas turned in just his second bad start of the season, and on a night when the Padres did get 4 runs off of Greinke normally you would expect to rejoice. Matt Kemp homered again, and Solarte went 2-4 with a RBI in the losing effort.
Luis Perdomo picked up for Vargas who left in the second inning and went 2 1/3 allowing just 2 hits, one run, and walking 2. Brad Hand, Matt Thornton, and Fernando Rodney held the D’backs at bay the rest of the game and the Padres slowly crawled back but ran out of time.
Manager Andy Green was pleased with the effort from his club: “It’s a tribute to the guys, how hard they fight, to get all the way back to one against a very good closer,…When you’re down 7-1 to Zack Greinke and you come back and make it an 8-7 ballgame, there’s a lot to build on the next day.”
Solarte clubbed two home runs – one from each side of the plate – in the Friday night win for the Padres and has been hitting cleanup for the team since returning from the DL, pushing Melvin Upton Jr. to fifth in the order who chipped in with two hits of his own on Saturday. Solarte is now 7-24 since coming off the DL with 3 home runs and has helped provide a rejuvenated energy in the mostly lackluster Padres offense.
The problem of course continues to be inconsistency. Sunday Drew Pomeranz will be looking for the Padres to continue their offensive production of the first two games (17 runs in two games) of the series against highly touted Arizona prospect Archie Bradley who has made two starts this season, neither one of them being that inspiring. Pomeranz brings a deceptive 4-4 record with an ERA of just 1.70, good for second in the National League behind Clayton Kershaw and just above Jake Arrieta.