The San Diego Padres earned a 4-1 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night with third baseman Manny Machado in the training room rehabbing his sprained left ankle.
The teams continue their three-game series on Tuesday, and the Padres hold out hope that Machado won’t be sidelined long term.
However, even with Machado ranking among the major league leaders in on-base percentage (.400) and slugging percentage (.545) — and topping the Padres in nearly every offensive category — the team wasn’t scoring runs consistently.
For the season’s first two months, much of the Padres’ offense was close to dormant, but Jake Cronenworth and Luke Voit are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in RBIs in the majors since June 1.
Despite the offensive inconsistency, San Diego is tied for first place in the National League West thanks largely to solid starting pitching, improving setup work and the performance of closer Taylor Rogers, who leads the majors in saves. Rogers picked up No. 21 Monday night as the Padres ended a three-game losing streak.
“It was meaningful to come out tonight and win,” acting Padres manager Ryan Flaherty said. “All wins are huge. It’s time for other guys to step up.”
The Tuesday night pitching matchup features Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen (4-2, 2.91 ERA) and San Diego left-hander Sean Manaea (3-3, 3.95). The game also could mark the return of Padres manager Bob Melvin, who has been in the COVID-19 protocol since between games of a June 11 doubleheader.
Gallen, 26, will be looking for his first win since May 30 as he makes his 13th start of the season. In 65 innings, Gallen has given up 23 runs (21 earned) on only 48 hits and 16 walks with 60 strikeouts. He has a 0.985 WHIP and a .201 opponents’ batting average.
Overall, the Diamondbacks are 8-4 when Gallen starts. However, many of his outings have been like his latest appearance, against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, when he allowed two runs on two hits with five strikeouts over seven innings but received no decision.
“He’s kept us in all but one of his starts,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “You can’t ask for much more than that. Zac’s been exceptional.”
Gallen has six quality starts. He has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of his 12 games, including one or none in six. Against the Padres, he is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five career outings, 0-0 with a 3.12 ERA in two starts in San Diego.
Manaea hasn’t faced the Diamondbacks since holding them hitless over seven innings in the second game of the season on April 8 in Phoenix. The only blemish was a walk before he departed after striking out seven in an 88-pitch outing.
Manaea owned a 1.42 ERA through his first three starts this year. However, his pace has slowed since, and he struggled in his most recent start, giving up five runs on eight hits in four-plus inning during a 12-5 road loss to the Chicago Cubs on June 14. Before that, Manaea allowed a total of three runs (two earned) on eight hits with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings over his two previous starts.
The Padres are only 6-6 in Manaea’s 12 games, although he has nine quality starts.
Arizona had won three of its past four games before dropping the series opener.
–Field Level Media