The Padres bullpen has stepped up to fill a hole in San Diego’s rotation.
Eric Hosmer homered Geron Christian Color Rush Jersey , San Diego’s bullpen took a perfect game into the sixth inning and the Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night for their 10th win in 14 games.
This was the third bullpen game for San Diego this season, all since left-hander Joey Lucchesi went down with a right hip strain.
”These guys are all built to kind of grind through a lineup one time or cruise through a lineup or attack a lineup one time through,” Padres manager Andy Green said. ”They’re all built for nine batters pretty easily or 10 batters so it just makes sense to give them those types of pieces of a lineup for a first time through and keep hitters uncomfortable. I like it.”
Padres reliever Matt Strahm started the bullpen game and retired nine batters on 36 pitches, including four strikeouts. Adam Cimber (3-2) retired the next six with two strikeouts before Harrison Bader broke up the perfect game with an infield single in the sixth. Bader was promptly erased in a double play.
”In that situation, I know on a bullpen day, me coming in the fourth inning I’m probably looked at to get at least a few (innings),” Cimber said. ”You still take it one hitter at a time.”
Strahm, a lefty, and Cimber, a submarine righty, make a stark contrast for opposing hitters.
”It’s the opposite end of the spectrum,” Strahm said. ”He’s down on the right and I’m up on the left. It’s a good combo to come in.”
The Padres’ nine-man bullpen makes the starter-by-committee approach effective. Green said he plans to go with it again Sunday.
”We’ve got seven arms available,” Green said. ”I’m going to guess that’s more arms available than almost every team in major league baseball, so it’s not putting the stress on our bullpen that a lot of people presume it is.”
Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
Hosmer drove the first pitch of the fourth inning to center field to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. It was his second home run in three games.
A.J. Ellis tacked on two more with a two-out hit in the fourth. The Cardinals challenged the safe call on the second run, but replay showed the Freddy Galvis beat catcher Yadier Molina’s tag at home plate.
”Basically the first strike you see you want to be aggressive,” Ellis said. ”I found a pitch to find a hole on.”
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas (7-2) struck out five in six innings and walked none. He has walked one or less in all seven of his home starts this season Troy Apke Color Rush Jersey , but St. Louis still lost for the second time in three games.
”I felt like my stuff was pretty good today,” Mikolas said. ”I made some pretty good pitches. I think the ball Hosmer hit was a decent pitch.”
Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single snapped the Padres’ shutout bid in the seventh. Ozuna has driven in five runs in his last four games.
”I thought our offense did a pretty good job of getting some things rolling toward the end of the game,” Bader said. ”Just today, it just showed up a little too late.”
Padres: OF Franchy Cordero (right forearm strain) took batting practice and hopes to begin a rehab in a couple of days.
Cardinals: RHP Matt Bowman (right hand blisters) gave up a run in two innings Monday at Triple-A Memphis and could be activated by the end of the week.
Cardinals RHP Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.35 ERA) will get the start in the series finale against the Padres and LHP Eric Lauer (2-4, 6.64 ERA) on Wednesday at 7:15 CDT. Weaver has not allowed a run in 12 innings (two career starts) against San Diego. Lauer gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings against St. Louis on May 11.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash has had to defend his strategy using relievers as starters time and time again.
At least this time, the defense came after the formula led his team to a victory.
Wilmer Font held the high-scoring Yankees in check and the Rays stopped New York 3-1 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.
”We’re doing everything we can (and) what we think is right to win games,” Cash said. ”When we win, yeah, we like it. When we lose, it’s grueling.”
In his third start of the season, Font turned in his best performance of the year in any role, allowing just one run in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts. The right-hander, who also has eight relief appearances, matched a career-high with 74 pitches.
Tampa Bay, which has been hurt by injuries to its rotation Michael Gallup Color Rush Jersey , employed a reliever to open for the 15th time in 29 games. Entering the game, relievers working as starters had allowed 13 earned runs in 18 innings.
”Today he gave us a huge boost,” Cash said of the 28-year old right-hander. ”He probably got a little deeper in the game than what we even anticipated.”
Matt Duffy drove in two runs with a second-inning single for his first multi-RBI game in over a month. The infielder, who missed 2017 while undergoing two Achilles surgeries, is hitting .352 (25 for 71) with seven RBI over his last 18 contests.
”I typically don’t see CC too well,” Duffy said. ”That wasn’t the greatest pitch to hit, but when you’re going well, those seem to fall.”
Carlos Gomez had an RBI double as Tampa Bay scored all three runs in the second against CC Sabathia (4-2). The left-hander pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season and struck out 10 for just the second time since the start of 2014.
”I just tried to be really aggressive because they were aggressive,” Sabathia said.
Tampa Bay defeated New York for the first time this season. The Yankees opened the season with five straight wins, outscoring the Rays 31-10 over the games, and was trying for a four-game sweep. The Rays are 5-18 in their last 23 games at Yankee Stadium.
Chaz Roe (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. Sergio Romo, who has also drawn five starts this season, closed for his third save in six chances.
Rookie Willy Adames singled to lead off the Rays second. Adeiny Hechavarria, who missed nearly a month with a strained hamstring, singled for the first of his three hits. Gomez doubled and Duffy delivered a two-out single.
Hechavarria also robbed rookie sensation Gleyber Torres of a base hit with dive and throw from shortstop in the seventh inning.
New York matched its lowest run total at home this season.
Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius worked two-out walks against Jose Alvarado in the fifth, but the hard-throwing lefty struck out Giancarlo Stanton on four pitches.
In the eighth Dorance Armstrong Jr. Color Rush Jersey , Diego Castillo struck out Gary Sanchez on three pitches to strand another runner.
Aaron Hicks homered off Font in the fifth – it was actually the second homer of the day. Hours earlier, the Yankees held their 72nd Old-Timers’ Day and Nick Swisher, making his debut with the former players, hit a long drive to right field.
Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson were joined by the likes of Don Larsen, Willie Randolph, Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Current New York manager Aaron Boone also took part for the first time.
Rays: Tampa Bay will start a reliever for the third consecutive day when RHP Ryne Stanek (1-1, 2.55 ERA) draws the start as the Rays open a three-game series at Houston. He’ll be opposed by RHP Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.40 ERA).
Yankees: New York heads to Washington for a makeshift doubleheader Monday. The teams will resume a suspended game from May 15 before a traditional nine-inning game follows. With heavy rain falling, play was halted after 5 1-2 innings with the teams tied at 3. The teams were set to resume play, and their interleague series, one day later, but rain continued to fall and both events were postponed. Boone will turn to his bullpen to begin the day and RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.96 ERA) takes the mound in game two.
Yankees: OF Brett Gardner (knee) was held out of the lineup with a little soreness.