Padres rout Diamondbacks to complete series sweep

The Padres have won far more often than not without Fernando Tatis Jr. all season. They have won the past three days with Manny Machado nursing a sprained ankle.

“When the whole lineup is hitting and then we get Tati and Manny back, it’s gonna be dangerous,” Austin Nola said. “I mean, we’re dangerous already. But with those guys back, oh, my goodness. ”

Now, those don’t appear to be just hopeful words.

It is no longer uncommon for there to be hits pretty much from the top of the linuep to the bottom. And there are often the equivalent of what used to be several days’ worth of runs in a single game.

A 10-4 win on Wednesday that completed a sweep of the Diamondbacks looked familiar to the Padres but was also constructed differently. (Box score.)

It wasn’t like this when Bob Melvin left.

The Padres won a third straight game before Melvin was forced to his couch back on June 11, but that was another low-scoring affair, the kind that made the first two months of the season so stressful.

Melvin returned Wednesday afternoon following an 11-day COVID hiatus, and his team welcomed him back with a third straight victory.

“With some runs too,” Melvin said afterward.

It was the fourth time in 15 games the Padres scored in double digits after doing so four times in their first 56 games. It was the 10thth time in 21 games that at least three Padres batters had multiple hits after that happened just 10 times in their first 50 games.

“We know the kind of lineup that we have,” said Jurickson Profar, who finished 4-for-4 and scored the Padres’ first run and what turned out to be the deciding run. He also drove in two runs. “It was all a matter of time (before) we (were) clicking together.”

What was unique Wednesday was that the Padres scored a lot early.

Most often, they wait until the starting pitcher has departed to do their real damage. But they started scoring right away against Madison Bumgarner, building a big lead and adding on almost to the end.

The Padres entered the game with the league’s fifth-highest OPS against relief pitchers and fifth-lowest OPS against starters. Their 112 runs in innings seven through nine were tied for third most in the majors. They had won a major league-leading 20 games, including the first two against the Diamondbacks this week, by coming from behind.

Wednesday was just the ninth game in which the Padres (44-27) scored in the first inning and led throughout.

The four runs they scored in the first inning were the most they had scored in the first inning of any game this season.

They were up 6-0 after two innings, and Bumgarner was gone after four innings with the Diamondbacks down 6-1.

While their quick start was a new twist for this season, it continued a relative trend against Bumgarner.

The veteran left-hander was making his 42nd career start against the Padres, second most among active pitchers behind Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw’s 44. The first of those starts was Bumgarner’s major league debut on Sept. 8, 2009, and he had a 3.40 ERA from that game through his 35th start against the Padres. But in the seven starts he has made against the Padres since joining the Diamondbacks in 2020, he has a 7.24 ERA. The Padres are 5-2 in those games.

It might have seemed inconsequential 10 runs and some 3½ hours later, but Padres starter Mike Clevinger did what Bumgarner couldn’t. With the bases loaded and one out, Clevinger escaped without allowing a run in the first inning.

“The first inning was a huge swing,” Melvin said. “They have us on the ropes and get nothing, and then it feels like we get a little momentum coming back in our dugout giving up nothing, and all of a sudden we put on a four-spot. The first inning was huge – one for Clev to get out of it, two for us to respond. ”

Clevinger was making his first start back from a third stint on the injured list, this time due to the flu. The 29 pitches he threw in the first set up a short day. He departed after throwing 81 pitches in four innings having allowed only Alek Thomas’ third-inning homer.

Adrian Morejón worked a perfect fifth inning before an error contributed to his loading the bases with one out in the sixth.

Nick Martinez, who has again moved from the starting rotation to a relief role, got the final two outs in the sixth on five pitches. A run did score on a groundout. Martinez worked through the end of the game, allowing a two-out homer to Christian Walker in the seventh and committing two errors that led to a run in the ninth.

By then, it was a matter of just getting the game over.

Profar led off the first inning with a single and went to second when Bumgarner hit Jake Cronenworth with a pitch. Luke Voit and Jorge Alfaro struck out before Ha-Seong Kim’s infield single (which was originally ruled an error by third baseman Josh Rojas) loaded the bases. Austin Nola singled in two runs, and Trent Grisham and Jose Azocar followed with RBI singles.

Profar began the second inning with a single and was safe at second when shortstop Geraldo Perdomo dropped a throw on a grounder by Cronenworth. Profar scored on a single by Voit, and Cronenworth scored on Alfaro’s double-play grounder.

Profar’s two-run single against reliever Luke Weaver in the fifth inning made it 8-1; it was 9-2 after Jorge Alfaro’s home run off the front of the balcony on the top story of the Western Metal Building in the sixth inning, and Jose Azocar’s RBI double in the eighth made it 10-3.

Tatis is expected back from his March wrist surgery some time in July. Machado, who sprained his left ankle Sunday, has defied expectations, with Melvin confirming Wednesday it appears he will avoid the injured list.

For now, the Padres roll on without their two best players.

“I think this is good for us anyway right now, because we get these opportunities,” Nola said. “Once we get all our guys back, it’ll be like, ‘OK.'”

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