SAN DIEGO --- All offseason, the Padres pointed to this year as a crucial one in the development of right-hander Luis Perdomo. It's off to a rocky start.
Perdomo was hit hard for five runs in four innings, as San Diego dropped its third straight to open the season, a 7-3 loss to Milwaukee at Petco Park on Saturday night. What's worse: The same issues seemed to plague Perdomo. He struggled with his control, walking four, and the strikes he threw were entirely too hittable.
"He's better than that," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He wasn't good today. There's really no other way around it."
The usual suspects did the damage for the Brewers. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich combined for eight hits on the night, wrapping up a series in which they went 15-for-28 in their first three games for their new club.
Padres newcomer Eric Hosmer posted his second consecutive two-hit night, and the San Diego offense rallied twice to erase early deficits. Perdomo simply couldn't hold serve.
"It's two years on the roster [for Perdomo]," Green said. "It's just one outing this year, and it wasn't a great outing. But it's time for him to go. It's time for him to step up and attack. The challenge is out there in front of him."
If the 24-year-old sinkerballer doesn't meet that challenge, he could find himself at Triple-A for the first time in his career. (In 2016, Perdomo was thrust on the scene a bit prematurely as a Rule 5 pick out of Class A Advanced in the Cardinals system.) Perdomo seems to understand the task at hand.
"I have to take care of my job," Perdomo said. "I have to worry about this position. If I don't, I know someone else is going to come here and try to take my spot. That's the name of the game."
Left-hander Robbie Erlin could be one candidate to do so. He was a rotation hopeful all spring before being moved to the 'pen at the end of camp. On Saturday, he entered in relief of Perdomo and tossed 3 2/3 solid innings in his first appearance since 2016 Tommy John surgery.
Erlin held Milwaukee scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. But the Brewers finally got to him in the eighth, when -- who else? -- Cain and Yelich smacked back-to-back RBI singles.
"They're a good team," Green said. "You make mistakes to the heart of their order, they're going to make you pay. Those are real hitters in the middle of their order. You're going to have to score with those guys to beat them."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Freddy on fire: The Padres brought Freddy Galvis on board during the offseason largely for his slick glove. Through three games, he's certainly done his part with the bat, too. Galvis launched a two-run homer Saturday night, his fifth hit in three games this series. The blast plated Hunter Renfroe, who made his first start and tripled in his first at-bat.
Fourth-inning woes: The Padres tied the game at 3 on Hosmer's RBI double in the third, but that score wouldn't last long. Perdomo quickly recorded two outs in the following frame, but the third proved elusive. He walked Eric Thames before Yelich lined an RBI double into the left-center field gap. Cain followed with a single through the middle, and it quickly became clear Perdomo's night was approaching its end. His inning-ending strikeout of Domingo Santana came on his 96th pitch in his four innings.
"If you want to win a baseball game, you can't give up runs after you score," Green said. "That's deflating for a team, especially a team that's lost two tough games in a row."
"That's how you beat teams -- what they did to us." -- Green on the Brewers' response to the Padres' two run-scoring rallies
Second-year Padres center fielder Manuel Margot has expressed a belief he can win a Gold Glove Award. Here's why:
With one out in the second, Margot broke quickly to his left on a rocket by Brewers catcher Jett Bandy. He made an all-out diving grab, robbing Bandy of extra bases as he crashed hard into the ground.
It was a brilliant catch, and the data backed that assertion. Margot covered 62 feet in 3.8 seconds to make the grab -- a 26 percent catch probability and a four-star catch according to Statcast™.
Padres: The Padres' first off-day of the season comes Sunday, then they'll welcome Colorado to town for a four-game set beginning Monday night at 7:10 p.m. PT. Bryan Mitchell makes his Padres debut. The organization has high hopes for the 26-year-old right-hander who arrived via a December trade with the Yankees.
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