On Thursday, the Padres sank to their lowest point of the season as they got absolutely torn to shreds. But Friday night, they played like yesterday’s game never happened. Jhoulys Chacin stepped up in a big way to take the heat off his exhausted bullpen, giving up two runs on just three hits over seven innings. He got some important backup from the bench, with Matt Szczur and Franchy Cordero driving in half of the team’s runs with late-inning pinch hits.
A little small ball put the Pads on the board in the first inning. After a double play erased Jose Pirela’s leadoff single, Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Austing Hedges hit back-to-back-to-back base knocks to put the good guys up one nothing. They doubled their lead the next inning when Erick Aybar hit a one-out double and Chacin helped himself out with a double of his own.
Chacin cruised through the next two innings, making his one mistake in the fifth inning. After Eric Hosmer singled to start the inning, Salvador Perez didn’t have to wait at all to find a pitch he liked. Chacin’s two-seamer wasn’t a complete meatball, but it came right over the heart of the plate and Perez crushed it.
When Chacin ended the sixth inning waiting in the on deck circle, it seemed as though he was about to get stuck with a no-decision. But Szczur took his spot to start the bottom of the seventh, and he instantly put the starting pitcher back in the W column.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, former Friar Chris Young gave San Diego some insurance. With one out, Erick Aybar singled, and then Szczur hit a double to center. That’s when Cordero came off the bench to hit for Brad Hand, and his two-bagger put the Padres up 5-2. But just for good measure, Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield and right fielder Jorge Bonifacio couldn’t decide who would catch the pop fly from Yangervis Solarte, so it fell to the ground for a single while Cordero hustled home.
Ryan Buchter had trouble in the ninth, allowing a pair of leadoff singles and causing Andy Green to go to the bullpen one more time. Brandon Maurer allowed one of his inherited runners to score on a single and a sac fly, but he had plenty of room to work and buttoned up his tenth save of the season.
It’s another Saturday afternoon game tomorrow, with Miguel Diaz taking on our old friend Ian Kennedy at 1:10 PM.