SAN DIEGO – Look Good, Play Good?
Manny Machado certainly thought so, going so far as to push to don the new mint-, pink- and yellow-accented City Connect yarns of the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium later this month.
“Hopefully we can wear those jerseys,” Machado said after being named the NL’s starting third baseman on Friday afternoon. “Those are pretty cool, huh?”
He certainly made them look good hours later as he roamed the bases with a three-run homer to launch the Padres to a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants in front of a sold-out crowd of 42,861. at Petco Park.
Nomar Mazara came off the bench to make more runs after Machado’s outburst, Blake Snell struck out 11 in six solid innings and Nick Martinez spared the bullpen with his third save in three innings.
The win was the second in a row against the Giants this week — and fifth in a row this season — after the Padres lost five of six entering the four-game series.
Machado’s first-inning homer was his second in as many days as he had been 3 in 20 since returning from his left ankle injury before his fourth-inning outburst on Thursday.
A day later, Ha-Seong Kim scored a single in his first career batting as a leadoff hitter, Jake Cronenworth followed with a brace, and Machado torpedoed the Giants bullpen game with a first shot at three. Sam Long points with a 107 mph, 433-foot drive again into the second deck in left field.
It was Machado’s 14th home run of the season despite being out for nine days with a left ankle injury that looked like it could sideline him for several weeks.
Yet when asked if he would consider adding the home run derby to his All-Star week plans if invited, the 30-year-old replied “absolutely not,” he said. – he says laughing.
Been there, done that, losing 13-12 to Joc Pederson in the first round in 2015, and ankle support is only part of the equation.
“A bit more than that, but that’s one of the main reasons,” Machado said. “It’s always fun. I mean I really want to do it. I will do it again. Probably not this year, though.
Snell crossed the lineup for the first time, striking out five of the nine batters he faced. But he allowed a single to open the fourth inning, walked two bases before leaving the bases loaded and gave up David Villar’s first career home run to open the fifth.
Snell survived Kim’s pitching error in the sixth and finished with six one-run three-hit innings and double-digit back-to-back games.
He threw a season-high 71 of 108 for strikes before giving a 4-1 lead, extended via Mazara’s RBI single in the sixth, to Martinez, who threw two shutout innings and was stayed in the game for a third frame after Mazara and Cronenworth’s RBI singles in the eighth inning.
Brandon Crawford walked and Brandon Belt hit a pinch homer before Martinez brought out LaMonte Wade Jr. at center to end the game.
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