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Manny on 30 HRs: 'It's about winning ballgames'

@AJCassavell
September 15, 2019

DENVER -- At this point, 30 homers for Manny Machado isn't as much a milestone as it is a habit. The Padres' slugging third baseman mashed his 30th dinger of the season during Saturday's wild 11-10 Rockies victory at Coors Field. In doing so, Machado became just the fourth player

DENVER -- At this point, 30 homers for Manny Machado isn't as much a milestone as it is a habit.

The Padres' slugging third baseman mashed his 30th dinger of the season during Saturday's wild 11-10 Rockies victory at Coors Field. In doing so, Machado became just the fourth player with at least 30 bombs in the past five years, joining Nolan Arenado, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion.

Afterward, the number 30 didn't seem to take on much significance to Machado, who preferred to keep his focus on the club’s recent performance.

"It's a big, big accomplishment, but I knew the numbers I was going to put up," Machado said. "At the end of the day, it's about winning ballgames as a ballclub."

For the past month, Machado has been vocal in his desire for a strong finish and what it would mean in terms of setting up the Padres for a run at contention in 2020. Right now, that isn't happening. San Diego has dropped three straight and eight of 12. Still, with a 9-5 finish, the Padres could equal their best record since '10.

Again, Machado made it clear that it's the wins and losses that he cares about. And why not? He's already inked his record-setting 10-year contract, and he's put up a few monster offensive seasons before.

"At this point in my career," Machado said, "I just go out there and just enjoy playing the game of baseball and try to help everyone in here get to where we want to be -- which is finishing out the year strong and getting ready for next year."

So, no, Machado wouldn't delve too deeply into his 30-homer season. But the accomplishment wasn't lost on the rest of the Padres.

"Hitting 30 homers in the big leagues, that's a big deal," said Wil Myers, who posted one such season in 2017. "To be able to do that year after year after year, it's impressive to show that consistency."

Manager Andy Green theorized on the reasons behind Machado's “staggering” consistency.

"From a power perspective, he's just one of those guys that squares up baseballs," Green said. "Even when he goes through lulls, he's still going to be productive. He can still, one swing of the bat, change a baseball game.

"He's been incredibly consistent from a power perspective. It's staggering, you just don't see that very often."

Noteworthy
Hunter Renfroe took batting practice and ran the bases on Saturday and might be available in an emergency pinch-hit situation on Sunday. It seems likely the slugging right fielder returns to regular game action against Milwaukee this week. He's battled a right ankle injury, which has kept him sidelined him for the past eight days.

The club is optimistic that Renfroe's recent time off will allow him to bounce back before the season's over. After a strong first half, Renfroe has slumped to a .551 OPS since the break, as he's battled a host of injuries.

• The Padres haven't been shy about giving rookie right-hander David Bednar high-leverage innings. Since his Sept. 1 callup, Bednar has made seven appearances, and five of the last six have come in games that were decided by one run.

Bednar has more than risen to the occasion. He has nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk in that span. In a crowded group of relievers, the 24-year-old is making a strong case to be part of the 2020 bullpen.

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