Five-run deficit no match for Padres' power

April 9th, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres did more than just win a ballgame. They fortified their confidence and established an ability to come from behind with Monday’s 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Any team, no matter how accomplished it might be, will spend a significant amount of the season trailing in the score. The Padres proved that such a challenge is no big deal, though they trailed 5-0 through four innings against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. San Diego recorded its fourth come-from-behind victory of the season while improving to 4-1 against San Francisco.

It was San Diego’s biggest comeback since Sept. 9, 2017, when the Padres surged from a 6-0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to edge Arizona, 8-7.

“When you have an ace on the mound, spotting him five runs, it’s an unbelievable climb,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Our club made that climb. It was really special to come back against a guy like that.”

Power is a convenient asset to possess for erasing opposition leads. The Padres displayed that decisive punch against the Giants, matching a season high with three homers. belted the most impressive long ball, a two-run, pinch-hit clout in the seventh inning. It concluded a three-run rally that wiped out San Francisco’s 5-3 advantage.

Reyes lugged an .091 batting average into Monday, the lowest in the Major Leagues among players who had appeared in at least 10 games. But he lacked no confidence when he faced Reyes Moronta with two outs and Francisco Mejia on second base.

Reyes slammed Moronta’s first pitch 426 feet at a rate of 112.9 miles per hour, according to Statcast.

“I was already hyped because of what my teammates were doing,” said Reyes, a .343 (12-for-35) lifetime hitter against the Giants. “I was ready for that moment. [Bench coach] Rod [Barajas] asked me if I was ready and I told him yes, I was 100 percent ready.”

Reyes also had a message for any Padres opponent that forges ahead of them.

“I want to tell you something: That’s us right now,” Reyes said, referring to the rally against the Giants. “Not even if we’re down by 10 in the ninth inning. Never give up. That’s something you guys are going to see about the Padres this year.”

Green expressed his appreciation by calling the contributions of the Padres’ bench “borderline ridiculous” so far.

Resolute pitching at some juncture of the game is another prerequisite for comebacks. Interestingly, it was San Diego’s starter, , who made the Padres’ surge possible after seemingly pitching the Padres out of the game.

Lauer yielded all of San Francisco’s runs in the fourth inning, an uprising fueled by Kevin Pillar’s grand slam. But Lauer recovered by blanking San Francisco for 2 1/3 innings after Pillar’s smash, enabling the Padres to rally. belted a two-run homer in the fifth inning before contributed a sixth-inning homer.

“That’s as live as his fastball has been,” Green said of Lauer, who was virtually untouchable except for the fourth inning. He struck out eight and yielded four hits in six innings. “Overall, there was a lot to like about his outing.”

San Diego’s big seventh inning began with Bumgarner hitting Tatis with a pitch for the second time in the game before yielding Mejia’s double high off the right-field wall. With Moronta on the mound for Bumgarner, Manuel Margot’s groundout scored Tatis before Reyes crushed his homer.