The San Diego Padres were poised for another victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, but were denied a second consecutive sweep.
The Friars were quick to get the party started, as Manny Machado hit his 20th home run of the year to lift the Padres to 2-0 in the first inning. They added a third run in the fifth inning off of Eric Hosmer’s RBI single to plate Fernando Tatis Jr.
Despite his stat line, Joey Lucchesi had himself a solid game. He went 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out six. It was a good bounce-back game from his previous start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which had been his worst in nearly two months.
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The Padres appeared to be rolling at that point, already thinking ahead to the National League West matchup against the San Francisco Giants.
The momentum took a clear turn by the end of the fifth inning, however. Lucchesi loaded up the bases with two walks and a single, and was subsequently pulled with one out remaining.
He was replaced by Luis Perdomo, who had been excellent in the month of June. Through 12 games, Perdomo had given up only two runs off of 13 hits, with only one of those runs being earned.
That changed after he took the mound, however, as he allowed two inherited runs to score off of a single by Yairo Muñoz. Muñoz was caught stealing second base for the third out, but the damage was done.
The Cardinals would tie the game in the eighth inning off of a costly fielding error by Franmil Reyes. Tyler O’Neill’s single sent Paul Goldschmidt to third, where he was planning to stop, but Reyes fumbled the ball enough to let Goldshmidt score.
The Padres had a chance to potentially retake the lead in the bottom of the eighth, when Cardinals pitcher John Gant loaded the bases by walking Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, and Greg Garcia with one out.
Manuel Margot hit an infield single that appeared to score the go-ahead run as he was called safe at first. The Cardinals would review that play and the umpires overturned the call; Margot was out at first, ending the inning on a double play and taking the run off of the board.
The Padres left a lot on the field Sunday, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine runners on base. It was a marked difference from the previous four games.
Despite a disappointing loss, however, there were still some positive signs in the box score and the overall statistics from this three-game series.
Eric Hosmer continued to come up clutch, finishing the game 3-for-5 with an RBI. He had an excellent series, going 9-for-14 total with five RBIs. He’s been red-hot since April, and especially since Tatis Jr.’s return from injury.
Manny Machado also had himself a great series, including a two-home run night with five RBIs in Game 2. Machado has been on a tear after a slow start to the season—enough to warrant some frustration at his snub in the All-Star Game voting.
Though they didn’t sweep the Cardinals, the San Diego Padres still took the series and remain in the thick of MLB playoff discussions. They’re 1.5 games away from the National League wild card with a 42-41 record.
They’ll need to put this loss behind them quickly, as they begin a three-game series against the NL West rival San Francisco Giants on Monday, July 1. And the last time these two teams met, the Giants swept the Padres.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.