Big hits from big names bust Padres' skid

July 1st, 2023

CINCINNATI -- Sometimes you need your big guys to get big hits.

The Padres did Saturday, and as a result, their season-high six-game losing streak is over. and  went back-to-back in a four-run sixth inning en route to a 12-5 Padres win at Great American Ball Park.

“Forgot what it felt like to win,” Machado said. “It’s been a while. We’ve let a lot slip away. It was good. The way we did it the last two days, it feels a lot different. Different energy. Things will start turning our way.”

Soto’s homer, his 15th, was a three-run shot that broke a 1-1 tie. It was Machado's 10th. Both left the bat at 104.2 mph. Machado added a two-run homer in the seventh.

"They were big ones at the time," Padres manager Bob Melvin said. "Those are two huge guys for us. Then [for Machado] to do it again … We've seen him get on rolls when he's comfortable. He hasn't got on one this year like we're used to seeing. That's kind of the recipe for it."

Said Machado: “The pitchers get paid too. When they’re on, they’re tough. You try to be patient and hit mistakes.”

Michael Wacha, who signed a free-agent deal this off-season, did what he's always done against the Reds: dominate. After missing his last start with shoulder fatigue, Wacha went five innings and allowed one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out four. Wacha came in 12-3 with a 2.57 ERA career against the Reds.

“He was good -- five innings, 80 pitches was the limit today,” Melvin said. Wacha finished the fifth inning just over that, with 87 pitches.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the third when Trent Grisham led off with a walk and stole second. Two outs later, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a standing double to bring Grisham in.

In the bottom of the frame, Tyler Stephenson led off with a walk. Two outs later, Matt McLain hit a line drive right at center fielder Grisham, who broke in, and the ball went over his head for an RBI double.

Austin Nola led off the sixth with a single, bringing the Reds to replace lefty Brandon Williamson with righty Buck Farmer. The Padres then got a break. Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz missed trying to scoop Ha-Seong Kim’s ground ball, and the runners were safe. Then Soto and Machado hit their home runs.

The Padres scored five more in the seventh.

Melvin cautioned going from winning one to thinking about getting on a roll.

"What we've been through, we haven't been short-sighted enough,"  Melvin said. "It's about tomorrow's game. You say, 'We've got to go on a roll. We've got to get on a roll.' You can't do that until you win that day's game."