Petco Park- San Diego, California
The first game of the three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, saw the San Diego Padres bullpen blow yet another game late.
Ian Kinsler made his first-ever appearance on the mound in the 10-4 game on Monday, as the Padres’ relief corp gave up seven earned runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Trey Wingenter and Carl Edwards Jr. were both knocked around pretty well in the loss. For the Padres, Tuesday brought the same difficulties with their exhausted bullpen.
Eric Lauer was on the mound for the Padres in the second game of the series, and he was opposed by Brendan McKay, the Rays hitting/pitching wonder. McKay had a 2-2 record coming into the game with a 4.55 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched. The 2017 first-round pick from Louisville was knocked around early but went five innings for the Rays, striking out seven batters in the game.
Lauer was a bit shaky to start the game as well. He allowed a home run to the second batter in the game — a 363-foot blast off the bat of Austin Meadows that barely cleared the wall in right field. The homer put the Rays quickly up 1-0, but the Padres responded in their bottom half of the first. Eight men came to the plate for San Diego as they scored four runs on three hits. The most significant hit was a two-out, bases-clearing double off the bat of Luis Urias that made the score 4-0 Padres. Three RBIs is a new record for Urias in a single game at the major league level. Lauer allowed another run to plate in the second which made the score 4-2 San Diego.
Eric Lauer took 43 pitches to get through six outs in the game, and that is a considerable concern for the team moving forward. Andy Green indicated before the game- “That is something we are working on.” He knows that the starting staff has crippled the rest of the pitching staff by failing to go late in games. The Padres had a lot of restraints with the staff coming into 2019, and there has been no relief in sight for the overworked group.
Lauer did not factor in the decision on Tuesday. He went five innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits. The lefty threw 90 pitches in the game and left with a chance at a win. Craig Stammen erased the lead in the top of the 6th though, as he allowed one run to score. A throwing error by Stammen was huge in the inning for the Padres.
Strikeouts are still an issue for the Padres, as they continue to struggle to make contact. The team totaled six strikeouts through the first three innings of Tuesday’s game. Andy Green is well aware of this issue as well with his young ballclub. He expects better from this group. They need to put the ball in play consistently to achieve success. San Diego finished with 18 strikeouts in the game and have racked up 49 in their last four games.
Michel Baez had yet to allow a run coming into the game on Tuesday. He allowed his first three runs on the season in the top of the 7th. Ji-Man Choi took the right-handed reliever deep for a 414-foot blast to right-center field which put the Rays on top in the game. At the end of the innings, it was 7-4 Padres, and the crowd was restless in this total.
The Padres rallied for a run in the 8th as right fielder Austin Meadows butchered a flyball by Manuel Margot to lead off the inning. The two-base error put the centerfielder on second base. He would score on a Luis Urias infield single making the game 7-5 after eight innings. That was the closest the Padres came to winning this contest.
San Diego went 1-2-3 in the 9th as they were overmatched by the Rays’ pitching staff. 7-5 was the final.
The Padres will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow as Cal Quantrill is on the mound for a day game. 12:40 game time.