Many of the young Padres hitters are impressing early on in spring training. The offense is showing signs of improvement from last year, when they finished near the bottom in nearly all offensive rankings.
The team has been on a tear this week, averaging 10.6 runs per game, en route to four wins out of their last five games heading into the game today against the Athletics. In today’s game, the offense cooled off a bit, producing four runs on just eight hits.
It was a typical start for the 34-year-old veteran. “He was throwing sinkers down and away, and in the third he tried to mix things up and it didn’t go too well,” Andy Green told me after the game.
Freddy Galvis led off the bottom of the first with a single for the Friars. The shortstop made a superb stop and throw to Hosmer to get the second out in the top of the first inning, flashing exactly why the Padres traded Enyel De Los Santos.
Frankie Montas started the game for Oakland, pitching two and one-third innings while giving up three runs and three strikeouts.
The highlight of the day offensively for San Diego came after Myers singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the third, with Eric Hosmer waiting on deck. The new Padres first baseman crushed a two-run bomb to left-center field, his first home run in a Padres uniform, that cut the Athletics’ lead to 3-2. Hosmer’s two-run bomb was the 21st Padres home run in just 11 spring training games so far (a small sample of how well this team is seeing the baseball presently).
— Padres de San Diego (@LosPadres) March 4, 2018
The Padres’ relievers failed to get the job done today after Richard left in the third. Stammen entered in the fourth and was tagged for two runs on Mark Canha’s two-run homer to straight-away center, making it 5-2 Athletics in the fourth.
Following Hosmer’s home run, the San Diego bats went cold, incapable of making any solid contact. Kazuhisa Makita pitched a scoreless fifth inning on only six pitches. His speedy pace in between pitches was impressive as he got all three outs in the inning with ease. Kirby Yates did manage to pitch a scoreless sixth inning for the Padres, although his control was iffy, walking three batters, before ending the inning.
“Makita was one of the few guys that had an easy outing for us today, he looked more comfortable today on the mound,” Green said on Makita’s impressive outing today.
The rest of the game was very ugly for the Padres. They quickly found themselves spiraling downward and looking up from a big hole.
Slade Heathcott hit a two-run double with zero outs in the top of the 7th that made it 8-3 Oakland, and Nick Martini followed with a sacrifice fly to chip in another run. Tom Wilhelmsen showed he was unable to find his spots in the seventh, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks.
Next in was Carter Capps, making his first spring training appearance in the 8th inning since undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in September. Capps was roughed up, surrendering back-to-back solo homers to Kevin Merrell and Anthony Garcia that made it 11-3 Oakland.
Andy Green said, “It was good for Capps to just get back on the mound and that he feels good physically. He’s wired to fight back and still has a long way to go.”
The Athletics big day at the plate helped them to a 12-4 win, winning two of the three matchups between the two interleague opponents in spring training.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 4, 2018
After the loss, the Padres fell to 6-4 in spring training, looking to bounce back tomorrow evening against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 5:40 PM PST.