SAN DIEGO -- A.J. Griffin knows a thing or two about pitching with a lead, and the Rangers gave him a rather large one to work with Tuesday in an 11-0 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.Griffin -- an El Cajon, Calif., native who attended the University of San
SAN DIEGO -- A.J. Griffin knows a thing or two about pitching with a lead, and the Rangers gave him a rather large one to work with Tuesday in an 11-0 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.
Griffin -- an El Cajon, Calif., native who attended the University of San Diego -- pitched the second shutout of his career in his first appearance at his hometown ballpark. He allowed just four singles and struck out four, improving to 29-0 in his career when given at least four runs of support.
"I like to win anywhere we go, but to be able to go out there and compete at this level is a blessing any time you can do it,'' Griffin said. "And my parents didn't have to go too far to see me."
The Rangers needed all of 15 minutes to give that kind of boost to Griffin on Tuesday. Nomar Mazara opened the scoring with a two-run double in the first, and Ryan Rua blasted a three-run homer three batters later.
"Our guys did a helluva job getting me a decent lead in the first inning,'' Griffin said. "Then I just tried not to mess it up."
The offensive outburst added up to yet another early exit for Padres starter Jered Weaver. He allowed seven runs over three innings and has conceded 22 runs over his past three starts. Joey Gallo also took Weaver deep with a towering drive in the third -- the 14th homer allowed by the veteran right-hander this season, the most in the Majors.
"Nobody takes [the loss] harder than me," Weaver said. "It's been frustrating, not being able to throw the ball the way I want to. … I know the nature of this business. If it keeps going the way it is, I might find myself on a couch here soon."
The Rangers would tack on three more in the seventh off Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush -- including a pair on Robinson Chirinos' line-drive home run into the left-field seats.
"Our guys, up and down the lineup, were dedicated with their approaches,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The Padres' bats, meanwhile, never threatened, as only two runners reached second base. They were shut out for the first time this season, though reliever Craig Stammen tossed two strong innings, yielding just one unearned run.
"It was listless today, offensively," said Padres manager Andy Green. "What [Griffin] did well on the mound was slow us down with a mid-60s curveball. Next thing you know, we're not on the fastball at all."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
High Five: The scuffling, slumbering, struggling -- pick your adjective -- Rangers offense bolted from the gate with a five-run first inning. That was only one fewer run than the Rangers had scored in their three previous games, all losses. The big blow off a staggering Weaver was Rua's three-run blast off an 80-mph slider, which traveled 426 feet.
Rally starters: Texas' opening rally started inconspicuously. Weaver plunked Shin-Soo Choo with a 3-2 fastball to start the game. Then Elvis Andrus poked a soft blooper just out of the reach of Padres third baseman Ryan Schimpf. From there, the floodgates opened. Choo reached base four times, despite only recording one hit.
"If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'm not going to be here. I'm not blind to that. I've seen it happen over the years. It's just something, that I've got to keep a positive mindset … and get myself through this process." -- Weaver
CORDOBA'S INJURY SCARE
With one out in the third, Padres shortstop Allen Cordoba lofted a bloop single to right that careened off Choo's glove. Cordoba hustled toward second, but Choo recovered, and his throw was just in time. Cordoba appeared to injure his left shoulder when he slid into the leg of second baseman Rougned Odor. He would remain in the game, though he made two errors in the next half inning.
The Padres opted to challenge the call, believing that Cordoba's hand reached the bag before the tag was applied. But the call stood after review.
How does an All-Star pitcher contribute when on the disabled list? Texas southpaw Cole Hamels, a San Diego native, passed along his favorite taco shop to the Rangers' traveling party: El Indio was his recommendation.
Rangers:Yu Darvish opens an eight-game homestand in Texas as this Interleague series with the Padres continues on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CT on . Darvish has won his only start against the Padres, but San Diego took two of three when it last visited in Texas in 2015.
Padres:Luis Perdomo has added a sharp slider to his arsenal this season, complementing an already effective sinker. He gets the ball Wednesday as the scene shifts to Texas for two games. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. PT on .
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego who covered the Rangers on Tuesday.