SAN DIEGO (AP)Left-hander Kyle Freeland pitched six strong innings and the Colorado Rockies knocked out heralded rookie lefty MacKenzie Gore in the third inning to beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 Saturday night and split a doubleheader.
The Padres won the first game 2-1 when automatic runner Manny Machado hustled home in the 10th inning on a two-out wild pitch and a throwing error by catcher Elias Diaz.
About 40 minutes before the second game, the Padres announced that manager Bob Melvin and bench coach Ryan Christenson entered COVID-19 protocols and that quality control coach Ryan Flaherty would manage. The Padres announced earlier in the day that starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, who had been scheduled to start the first game, and reliever Adrian Morejon were placed on the COVID injured list.
Freeland (2-5) got his first win in six starts by holding the Padres to two runs and three hits while striking out three and walking two.
Gore (4-2) came in with a 15-inning scoreless streak and a 1.50 ERA, which jumped to 2.50 after his outing lasted just 2 1/3 innings. The scoreless streak ended in the second when he issued a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Connor Joe, who’s from suburban Poway. It was Gore’s third walk of the inning.
Gore continued to struggle in the third when he allowed four straight hits, a sacrifice fly and a walk that finally brought out Flaherty with the hook. C.J. Cron and Randall Grichuk hit RBI singles, Ryan McMahon had the sac fly and Diaz greeted reliever Craig Stammen with an RBI single.
”Good for the offense,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”The way we came out showed a little resolve for our guys. We had some good at-bats. We took our walks. This guy’s a good young pitcher with good stuff and our guys, I thought, were intent on every pitch and it paid off. We hit the ball on the nose a couple times, we got a couple soft hits, but they all count. But I thought our offense did a good job early in the game to knock them out.”
Gore allowed six runs and five hits, walked four and struck out three. He had allowed just seven earned runs in his previous 50 innings before allowing five in the third inning. The only shorter outing by a Padres pitcher this season was Yu Darvish’s 1 2/3 innings on April 12 at San Francisco.
Freeland said his teammates ”were having great at-bats. MacKenzie didn’t really show himself tonight. Obviously the start of the season for him has been phenomenal but we put together good at-bats, we weren’t chasing at anything and then they were able to get runs on the board early for me so I could go out there and hold that lead for them and get deep in the ballgame.”
Padres reliever Reiss Knehr took a comebacker by Joe off his chest in the fifth and was staggered, but recovered the ball and threw to first for the third out. He collapsed in pain and was down for a few minutes but walked off the field. Knehr, called up earlier in the day due to the COVID outbreak, pitched 3 2/3 more innings for a career-high 4 2/3 innings to help save the bullpen.
It was the longest scoreless relief outing for San Diego since Robbie Erlin threw 5 2/3 innings on May 28, 2018, against Miami.
In the first game, Machado began the 10th at second base and stayed there as Carlos Estevez (1-4) retired the first two batters. Estevez then bounced a breaking ball and Machado took off for third. Diaz’s throw went wild, and Machado raced home ahead of the throw to the plate by left fielder Yonathan Daza.
”Ball in the dirt, you take a chance,” Melvin said. ”Just another aggressive play by Manny, who helps us wins games in so many different ways.”
Steven Wilson (4-1) pitched a scoreless 10th. Trent Grisham hit a solo homer in the Padres third.
Padres: Brought up LHP Ray Kerr and Knehr from Triple-A to replace Clevinger and Morejon on the roster. … Recalled OF Brent Rooker from El Paso to be the team’s 27th man for the doubleheader.
RARE DOUBLEHEADER IN SAN DIEGO
The previous scheduled doubleheader in San Diego was Aug. 16, 1998, against Milwaukee at Qualcomm Stadium. Also, Saturday’s twin feature was the first doubleheader at Petco Park since it opened in 2004. … This was Colorado’s fifth doubleheader of the season.
Rockies RHP German Marquez (2-5, 6.49) and Padres LHP Blake Snell (0-3, 5.68) are scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday.
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