WASHINGTON — The Padres have taken their share of punches over the season’s first 50 video games. None fairly just like the seventh inning on Thursday, although. The Nationals pounded out seven straight hits to attain 5 runs, leaving the Friars shocked.
Two innings later, the Padres stared down the prospect of shedding a sixth straight sequence – and a 3rd straight to a last-place workforce. They sat 5 video games under .500 and have been on the point of their worst lack of the 12 months. It’s solely late May. But was it attainable their season was teetering?
On a workforce filled with superstars with the biggest payroll in franchise historical past, it’s Odor — a Minor League signing this spring — who has turn out to be the Padres’ most dependable clutch hitter of late. Sure sufficient, Odor launched a go-ahead three-run homer with two outs within the ninth inning, sending San Diego to a outstanding 8-6 victory at Nationals Park.
“Somebody’s got to get it started,” Odor mentioned afterward. “That guy is me. Now we go.”
The Padres can solely hope this was the win that will get their season headed in the precise path.
“Yeah, it wasn’t the greatest game,” mentioned Jake Cronenworth, whose leadoff single sparked the game-winning rally. “But what we did in the ninth inning, to come back, string a bunch of quality at-bats together — it’s something we just need to grab onto.”
Cronenworth began the ninth with a ferocious eight-pitch battle towards Nats nearer Hunter Harvey. He fouled off three straight two-strike choices — certainly one of which was such a defensive swing, he almost took out Juan Soto within the on-deck circle.
After Cronenworth’s single, Soto adopted go well with. Soto walked in every of his first 4 plate appearances, however when Harvey hung a splitter, Soto ripped it to proper. In his second journey to D.C. since final summer time’s commerce, Soto completed the week having reached base in 11 of 14 plate appearances – together with seven occasions by way of stroll. But don’t let his endurance idiot you.
“I tell myself: ‘Aggressive all the time,” Soto mentioned. “I take walks. But at the end of the day, I take walks because those pitches are balls. I’m not taking walks because I want to. I want to swing the bat.”
Soto’s single put males on first and second with no one out, when the Padres continued their latest pattern – heck, at this level, it’s now not merely a pattern – of failing to transform with runners in scoring place. Xander Bogaerts and Matt Carpenter struck out, dropping the workforce to .182 in RISP conditions this season.
Up stepped Odor, given elevated taking part in time lately in Manny Machado’s absence. Odor obtained a 99 mph fastball on the interior half, turned on it and deposited it within the right-field bullpen. In their previous 11 video games, the Padres have gotten simply three hits with males in scoring place which have plated a number of runs. Odor has all three.
“He’s a winner,” Soto mentioned.
“You feel good when he’s at the plate right now,” Padres supervisor Bob Melvin mentioned. “He’s not afraid of any situation.”
The Padres, after all, nonetheless have loads of query marks to deal with. They haven’t solved their RISP woes, ending Thursday’s recreation 3-for-16 in such conditions. Their bullpen, which had been dominant these days, unraveled within the seventh.
But it’s higher to face these query marks after a victory — maybe their most enthralling victory of their season.
“That’s what good teams do,” Soto mentioned. “We just keep battling. Even when we’re struggling, we’ve got to go out there and keep fighting.”
The Padres led 5-1 within the seventh when issues began to spiral. Tim Hill and Nick Martinez mixed to permit seven consecutive hits to start out the seventh, although Martinez managed to cease the bleeding. The inning ended when catcher Brett Sullivan made an unbelievable leaping tag to get Alex Call’s spike after a ball within the dust had gotten away. The deficit remained one.
Of course, each Padres deficit has felt large these days, regardless of the quantity. The Padres hadn’t overcome a deficit to win a recreation since May 5. They stranded Brandon Dixon after his leadoff double within the eighth. They seemed to be on the verge of stranding two extra within the ninth.
But Odor — now with a slash line of .409/.480/.818 because the day after Machado’s harm — has been staunch in his perception that issues would change. He homered in Wednesday’s loss and later mentioned it will solely take “one game” to spark that change.
A day later he introduced that up.
“I said it,” Odor mentioned. “It takes one game to start going. Let’s see tomorrow.”