PHOENIX (AP) — The veterans did the early work, the rookies followed with a few clutch moments and the San Diego Padres have found a winning formula early in the season.
The Padres won their second straight game, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on Saturday night. Eric Hosmer had the go-ahead single for San Diego in the eighth inning after Manny Machado started the rally with a leadoff single and a relatively rare stolen base to get into scoring position.
San Diego’s 2-1 start to the season is particularly refreshing after a tough 2021. The Padres started the year with World Series aspirations but stumbled badly down the stretch and missed the playoffs with a 79-83 record.
“We know it’s a long road ahead and there’s a lot more to accomplish,” Machado said. “But we believe in each other and I think that’s the biggest thing for this ballclub. We’re pulling for each other.”
The game was tied at 2 when Machado led off the eighth with a single before getting a huge jump to steal second base. Machado had 12 stolen bases last season but lulled the D-backs’ defense to sleep, swiping second without a throw to get into scoring position. He advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Hosmer followed with his second single of the game — a scorched grounder that deflected off second baseman Ketel Marte’s glove — to push the Padres ahead. Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly later in the inning scored Luke Voit and made it 4-2.
The rookies also contributed. C.J. Abrams and José Azocar both had their first major league hits in the ninth to push San Diego’s advantage to 5-2. Steven Wilson (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win in his big league debut.
Joe Musgrove started and threw six good innings for the Padres, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out eight. The right-hander gave up a run in the first but settled down quickly, pitching four scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer to David Peralta in the sixth.
“He got better as the game went along,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s what veteran guys do. You get off to a little bit of a slow start, it doesn’t matter.”
Taylor Rogers, recently acquired in a trade with the Twins, earned his second save in two days.
Zach Davies made his mound debut with the Diamondbacks, giving up two runs in five innings. The 29-year-old right-hander signed as a free agent in March and is trying to bounce back from a rough 2021 when he had a 5.78 ERA over 32 starts for the Chicago Cubs.
Veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy (0-1) took the loss after giving up two runs in the eighth. The Diamondbacks have just 10 hits through three games this season.
THE STREAK STOPS
San Diego’s starting pitching went 13 1/3 innings without giving up a hit this season. That streak ended Saturday in the first inning when Marte beat the shift and looped a single into left field off Musgrove.
“I let everyone down pretty early in the game,” Musgrove said with a grin.
Yu Darvish threw six innings of no-hit baseball on opening night. Sean Manaea followed Darvish with seven no-hit innings Friday.
The Padres are the only team in the modern era to have a starting pitcher give up no hits through at least six innings in back-to-back games, according to STATS.
Musgrove was on the mound Saturday exactly one year after he threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers. It was the first no-hitter ever for the Padres, coming in the 8,206th game in the franchise’s history.
Abrams got his first big league hit on an opposite-field single to left to lead off the ninth. The 21-year-old shortstop has also made some nice plays in the field over his first two games.
“I’ve dreamed about that ever since I could walk,” Abrams said.
Azocar drove in Abrams on a single later in the ninth, which was also Azocar’s first hit.
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. (broken wrist) told reporters he expects to resume swinging a bat in about three weeks. The star shortstop is expected to be out until at least June after having surgery during spring training.
The D-backs and Padres wrap up a four-game series Sunday. LHP Caleb Smith will start for the Diamondbacks. The Padres will send LHP Blake Snell to the mound.
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