The San Diego Padres defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night, 6-3.
Randy Johnson described Eric Lauer‘s night on the mound as “outstanding.” The Big Unit’s analysis was spot on, as Lauer and the San Diego Padres worked a positive win against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ok, Lauer wasn’t fantastic, but he did continue his current stretch of solid starts. Going five-plus innings, Lauer gave up one earned run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two, producing 11 swings and misses on the night. Lauer improved his record to 4-5 and lowered his ERA to 4.84. It was just the fourth time that the Padres had won a game in which Eric Lauer started. In his 14 starts, San Diego is 4-10.
Lauer was given an early lead after a Carlos Asuaje triple and Wil Myers single made it 1-0 in the top of the first inning. A Jake Lamb single, just one inning later, tied the game at one, until the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth, Austin Hedges did this, for the third time in 2018.
According to Statcast, that ball exited the field at 105 mph, landing 421 feet away from home plate. Hedges ended the night 1-3 with that home run and a strikeout.
The Padres would use a three-run sixth inning to put the game out of reach. Wil Myers drove in Carlos Asuaje (again) with a standup triple, followed by an error by Nich Ahmed on an Eric Hosmer groundball, which scored Myers. Hosmer would come around later in the inning on an RBI-single by Freddy Galvis.
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Two eye-opening performances by the San Diego Padres.
The star of the night was Carlos Asuaje. He entered the night with three hits in five at-bats, since making his return to the big leagues. Getting the start at second base Thursday night, Asuaje went 2-2 with a triple and a single, two runs scored, and two walks. It was the perfect example of what this lineup is capable of, with a consistent leadoff hitter.
The other big star of the night, Matt Strahm. Strahm entered the game in the sixth inning with two runners on and no outs. Using his pinpoint control, 94-96 mph fastball, and the occasional big, breaking curveball, Strahm produced an infield pop-fly, a backwards K, and a fly ball to right field to end the threat.
Strahm ended up going two-plus innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while striking out three. The two runs came off a two-run home run, as Strahm attempted to finish his third inning of relief. It was one of the few pitches he missed on the night. However, no harm, no foul. Strahm continues to look fantastic in his limited innings and fans can’t help but excited about the idea of him in the starting rotation next season.
Brad Hand finished the night by recording his 24th save of the season. After giving up a leadoff single, Hand sat down Arizona hitters in order by striking out the side.