Coming off a three game wining streak, it seemed like good luck for the Padres to welcome a last-place team like the Reds. Walker Lockett must have been thrilled to make his big league debut against such a weak opponent... right up until the first pitch. Lockett got shellacked, giving up 4 runs in 3.2 innings. And it wasn’t even that the Reds were hitting him hard; he only allowed four hits, three of them singles. No, Lockett’s real problem was that he couldn’t throw strikes. Of his 81 pitches, a whopping 36 missed the zone, and 20 of those turned into 5 free passes. Of course, the newbie didn’t get a lot of help from the rest of the team. Offensively, the Friars only put together a pair of runs on seven hits. Defensively, Hunter Renfroe made two errors, and the bullpen gave up an additional three runs.
Lockett’s first sign of trouble came in the third, when he walked Billy Hamilton to start the inning. Hamilton stole second, then went to third on a ground out. Another grounder from Tucker Barnhart gave Hamilton the room to go home and put the Reds up 1-0.
Lockett led off the fourth with another walk, and a single by Scott Schebler put a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Jose Peraza hit a double to clear the bases, and looked poised to stay at second base when Lockett struck out the next to batters. But Walker lived up to his name and gave Jesse Winker a free base. Barnhart ended Lockett’s night with a single to score Peraza and put the Reds up by a grand slam.
Robbie Erlin didn’t have a ton of success in relief, giving up a leadoff bomb to Scooter Gennett to start the fifth. And if you thought Erlin’s replacement might have better luck, you should know that he was relieved by Bryan Mitchell, who gave up two more runs in the seventh.
The Friars’ only runs came in the ninth inning on a two-out rally. Hunter Renfroe got it started with a double up the middle, and Raffy Lopez drew a walk on five pitches. That brought Freddy Galvis to the plate. He avoided the shutout with his third triple of the year. He couldn’t make it the last 90 feet, however, as Manuel Margot grounded out to end the game.
Eric Lauer was really, really bad in Monday’s match against the Marlins, and he’ll try to be at least a little bit better when he faces Matt Harvey Saturday evening. First pitch at 5:40 PM.