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Franmil rips clutch HR as Padres sweep Crew

Slugger contributes to hot lineup as San Diego moves back over .500
@AJCassavell
June 19, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres’ offense has come to life in the past week. On Wednesday afternoon, Franmil Reyes joined the party. The San Diego slugger picked a good time to snap his two-week homerless drought. Reyes demolished a go-ahead three-run blast into the right-center-field beach area at Petco Park

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres’ offense has come to life in the past week. On Wednesday afternoon, Franmil Reyes joined the party.

The San Diego slugger picked a good time to snap his two-week homerless drought. Reyes demolished a go-ahead three-run blast into the right-center-field beach area at Petco Park in the seventh inning. His 20th dinger of the season set the Padres on course for an 8-7 victory, a sweep of the Brewers and a four-game winning streak to take them back above .500.

“When he's driving the ball and swinging the bat like he did today, our offense definitely moves,” said Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Box score

When they returned from their bonkers four-game set in Colorado last weekend, the Padres spoke of using the series as a springboard to bigger things this season. Twice, they had rallied from huge ninth-inning deficits at Coors Field. They saw it as the mark of a club that simply wouldn’t quit.

Then, facing one of the toughest teams in the National League, the Padres coughed up a late lead on Yasmani Grandal’s three-run homer in the seventh inning. Their response was swift.

Manny Machado reached on a popup in front of the plate due to miscommunication from four Brewers in the area. Then, Hunter Renfroe worked a walk, setting the stage for Reyes. Jeremy Jeffress’ first pitch was a heater at the knees, and Reyes crushed it to right-center. He tossed his bat aside and pumped his fist.

"A three-run homer we give up, we turn around and hit a three-run homer right back -- that’s a resilient ballclub," Padres manager Andy Green said. "It's fun to watch these guys play baseball. Any time you sweep any club, it's good. Any time you sweep a first-place club, it's really good.”

With the home run, Reyes and Renfroe became the first pair of Padres teammates with 20 home runs before the All-Star break in franchise history. They’ve become quite the slugging corner-outfield duo.

“We have a lot of firepower,” Green said. “We have a number of guys going good right now. We get Franmil back in that mix, back in that category, that's big for us. He's a big bat.”

And he proved it once again on Wednesday.

Pick your poison

The top of the San Diego lineup, from one to five, suddenly seems unstoppable.

The return of Fernando Tatis Jr. played no small part. He’s hitting .400 in 13 games since his return from the injured list, and he’s wreaking havoc on the bases, too.

“You throw him back at the top of the lineup, it solves a lot of things for us,” Hosmer said. “Guys are clicking at the right time right now, and the guys at the top of that order are feeling hot.”

Hosmer’s one of them. He homered and had three hits Wednesday. Machado came an inch from his 15th dinger, and Renfroe has five blasts in the past week. It’s been a formidable one through four, and maybe Reyes’ bat is coming around now, too.

He pounded out three hits in the finale, and the Padres have now scored 58 runs over their past seven games.

“The whole offense is feeling good,” Machado said. “As an overall group, we're picking each other up. We're all clicking, we're all taking our walks, doing the little things that count. When we do that, we're dangerous as a team.”

Nervy without Kirby

Kirby Yates still hasn’t surrendered a run in a save situation this season. Problem is, Yates needed to pick up saves in each of the Padres’ last three games, and he wasn’t available Wednesday afternoon.

Neither was right-hander Trey Wingenter, who shouldered a heavy burden over the weekend in Denver before working the eighth on Tuesday.

“We went into today a little short-handed,” Green said. “That's when the offense steps up and picks us up.”

Lefty Brad Wieck allowed two singles to start the seventh inning, before Grandal turned on an inside fastball from Gerardo Reyes with two outs to give Milwaukee a 7-5 lead. But once the Padres took the lead back, they made sure it held up.

Luis Perdomo got two quick outs in the eighth, before the Brewers called for lefty slugger Mike Moustakas off the bench. That forced Green’s hand. He didn’t have a lefty in his bullpen, but he had Craig Stammen, who has been excellent against lefties this season.

“I knew Kirby was down, I knew Wing was probably not going to pitch unless we absolutely needed him,” Stammen said. “Honestly, I was probably preparing for six outs.”

Stammen walked Moustakas, before Eric Thames grounded out to end the eighth. Things got dicey in the ninth, when Hosmer dropped a routine throw at first base, which would’ve completed a game-ending double play. But Stammen bailed him out by striking out Hernan Perez to end the game.

The Padres are back above .500, back in the National League Wild Card hunt and winners of four straight. What a difference a week makes.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.