DENVER – For the second consecutive game, the San Diego Padres (30-33) took an aggressive approach at the plate, logging double-digit hits against the Colorado Rockies (26-39) on Friday. However, to provide a little more bang for San Diego’s buck, five of the Padres’ 15 hits in Game 1 at Coors Field were poked over the fence for home runs–gotta love that Rocky Mountain altitude.
Not only did Gary Sanchez have his second straight game with a homer, but Manny Machado, Brandon Dixon, Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr. all hit round-trippers as well. Xander Bogaerts also had a nice night at the dish, going 2-5 with a double while also scoring two runs. Surprisingly, Colorado only hit one home run on the evening: That came from Mike Moustakas in the eighth inning off Nick Martinez. Defensively, Padres starter Yu Darvish pitched supremely until running into trouble in the sixth frame, when he eventually exited at 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 6 K and 4 BB.
That was good enough to earn Darvish his 100th career win in Major League Baseball, moving him to 5-4 on the season. All in all, the Friars held on to defeat the Rox 9-6, winning back-to-back games for the first time since May 25-26. Still, much of the ballpark seemed distracted with a basketball game? Something about the local team trying to win their first NBA title.
Here are three takeaways from Friday night’s win in Denver.
Tatis Jr., Soto and Machado all had multi-hit games
The top-three hitters in San Diego’s lineup – Tatis Jr., Juan Soto and Machado – all had two hits on Friday. As the undisputed corps of the team, they combined for three RBI and four runs scored against Colorado. Additionally, there were only two total strikeouts among the superstar trio. They say, “good hitting is contagious.” With Tatis swinging it well since returning to the lineup, Soto and Machado have begun to follow suit. Transparently, the success of the Padres rests on the bats of the three aforementioned players. If they can put together more quality at-bats collectively, San Diego stands a favorable chance to turn this season around.
Sanchez is still swingin’ it
Gary “Going, going, gone” Sanchez continues to swing a heavy bat. In his 10 games since being activated by the Padres, Sanchez has smashed five home runs and produced 11 total RBI. Of course, Coors Field is a fabulous venue to arrive at on an offensive heater. In San Diego’s most previous game (versus the Mariners), the Friars combined to score 10 runs on 17 hits, including a homer from Sanchez. Now after his second-inning two-run bomb on Friday, can he make it three-games-in-a-row on Saturday? Sanchez will set his sights on Colorado starter Kyle Freeland; Coors plays especially lively when the sun is out, and first pitch is set for just after 1 p.m. Mountain-time.
Darvish notches 100th win in MLB
At 39-years-old, Yu Darvish has now pitched to a MLB career win-loss record of 100-79. Despite already being a living-legend in Japan, Darvish transferred over to Major League Baseball initially for the 2012 season (at age 28). He had very respectable years for the Texas Rangers and instantiated himself as a wily veteran. Darvish has also had success in both the American and National Leagues, respectively–he led the A.L. in strikeouts back in 2013, and paced the N.L. in wins as early as recently as 2020. With five-combined MLB All-Star selections, Darvish has had a rather decorated career. Even in 2023, on the brink of 40, he has earned a 5-4 record in 12 starts and given San Diego a chance to win almost every time.
The Padres will next be in action on Saturday, June 10 against the Rockies–first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PST. Projected starters for the weekend matinee are Ryan Weathers (1-4) and Kyle Freeland (4-7).