The San Diego Padres didn’t look like a team fighting for a playoff berth on Monday.
They were thumped 12-4 by one of the majors’ worst teams, the Detroit Tigers.
San Diego, which has lost two straight, will look for a quick turnaround when it plays the second of three games in Detroit on Tuesday night.
San Diego manager Bob Melvin was mainly disappointed with the team’s defense. Though the Padres were charged with only one error, Melvin felt his squad failed to make several other routine plays.
“We need to clean it up and play focused baseball every day,” he said. “Every time we play like that, we lose. Every time we play clean baseball and focus, we put ourselves in a position to win.”
Leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar was one of the Padres’ few bright spots, as he hit his first homer since June 16 and reached base three times.
Mike Clevinger (2-3, 3.50 ERA) will start the middle game of the series for San Diego. Clevinger had one of his best outings of the season on July 17, when he limited the Arizona Diamondbacks to one run and four hits in six innings while recording a season-best eight strikeouts.
The right-hander faced the Tigers frequently when he pitched for Cleveland from 2016-20. He is 8-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 12 career appearances (11 starts) against the Tigers, including 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA in six starts at Detroit.
Rookie right-hander Garrett Hill (1-2, 5.63) will make his fourth start of the season for Detroit. He gave up three runs and five hits in five-plus innings at Oakland on Thursday.
Hill was optioned to Triple-A Toledo following that game but was recalled after Detroit suffered two more injuries to its starting staff over the weekend. The Tigers have seven starting pitchers on the injured list.
The rash of injuries is baffling to manager A.J. Hinch.
“I think we’re all guessing,” he said. “I don’t think any of us know, certainly to the level we’ve had injuries. Anyone’s guess is the right guess. We have no idea, or else we would’ve solved it a long time ago.”
Hinch finally had something to smile about after his team blasted four home runs on Monday. The Tigers entered the game with just 54 homers, 20 fewer than any other major league club. Eric Haase provided the biggest blow, a third-inning grand slam.
“We kind of love the energy that Haase brings in his at-bats, and then when the production comes with it, we’re a different team,” Hinch said.
Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario had his first multi-homer game of the season. He came into the contest with a .194 average but raised it to .203 with a three-hit night.
“One thing leads to another, especially with Jeimer, who’s an emotional player,” Hinch said. “When you start feeling good about yourself, you get a little bit more aggressive, and the (big) night continued for him.”
Miguel Cabrera also got into the act with just his fourth homer of the season and first since May 15. The Tigers had won just two of their previous 13 games prior to their offensive outburst.
–Field Level Media