Coming off a sweep of their division rival Arizona Diamondbacks at home, the San Diego Padres enjoyed a day off Thursday in Toronto before taking on the Blue Jays.
Having time like this to bond with each other and build friendships is what this Padre team is all about. There is a great mix of veteran and young players on this team. You get a sense that they enjoy spending time with one another.
Josh Naylor was added to the roster in time for Friday’s game, and the Canadian native made his major league debut on Friday. Having Naylor and fellow Canadian Cal Quantrill on the same roster for this series in Toronto is very special.
On Friday, the Padres sent Joey Lucchesi to the hill. The lefty did not disappoint. Since the Friars were north of the border in Canada, they utilized the DH in their lineup and Lucchesi was allowed to be extended with his pitch count. He threw 95 total pitches for the Padres and struck out a career-high 11 batters.
For the Padres on offense, they had issues with Trent Thornton. The right-handed pitcher struck out 10 Padres in the game in his six innings of work. The Padres roughed him up in the third inning. After a Hedges’ homer, Franmil Reyes walked with two out. Two singles by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer put the Padres on the board. Greg Garcia made the Padres lead 3-0 when he scorched a ball into the second deck of the right-field stands for his second homer of the year.
Lucchesi was cruising through four innings and was perfect on the day. There were whispers of a potential no-hit bid. However, after a one-out walk to Randal Grichuk, Lucchesi gave up back to back homers off the bats of Freddy Galvis and Lourde Gurriel Jr. The game was now tied at three heading into the last few frames. Lucchesi ended up giving up three earned runs on three hits in 6.2 innings of work.
The game was tied heading into the eighth inning. With Manny Machado on first with one-out, Eric Hosmer hit a comebacker to the pitcher that was promptly thrown into center field allowing Machado to run to third. Hunter Renfroe stepped up to the plate and deposited a two-strike fastball over the left field stands for a 6-3 Padres lead.
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Lucchesi would not be part of the decision, but he was a huge factor in the game. The bullpen was set up to do their job, as the Padres protected a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Enter Robbie Erlin.
The veteran left-handed pitcher threw a one-two-three inning of relief and has been a huge difference maker for the Padres this season out of the pen.
With Kirby Yates resting, Craig Stammen closed the door on the 6-3 win. For the Padres, this is a great way to start a tough road trip.