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Padres survive Yankees' four-run ninth

July 2, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- There were no imaginary arrows being shot after the Padres' thrilling 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Friday night at Petco Park. Only new closer Brandon Maurer leaping off the mound, pumping both fists and screaming toward the heavens."That's as loud of a roar as I've seen

SAN DIEGO -- There were no imaginary arrows being shot after the Padres' thrilling 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Friday night at Petco Park. Only new closer Brandon Maurer leaping off the mound, pumping both fists and screaming toward the heavens.
"That's as loud of a roar as I've seen come out of him at any point in time," Padres manager Andy Green said of the typically low-key Maurer, who has been given first crack at ninth-inning duties in the wake of Rodney's trade to Miami. "He's fired up about getting the save, rightfully so."
Trailing, 7-2, entering the ninth, New York stormed back, cutting the deficit to one and putting the tying run on third base. But Maurer got Brett Gardner to bounce harmlessly to short, and in doing so, picked up his first career save.
Maurer weathers storm for first career save
The Padres grabbed the lead with a three-run first, before rookie second baseman Ryan Schimpf launched his first career home run in the second inning. Wil Myers followed suit in the fifth with his 19th of the season, and his 13th at home. He's already two shy of tying Petco Park's single-season home run record -- with three months to play.

Both of the homers came against Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed six runs on seven hits over 4 1/3, while striking out two. Friday's start marked the sixth straight in which the Yankees right-hander allowed at least four runs.
"I believe Evo can do it; I really do," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I believe he can change this around. He's got too good of stuff for this to continue."
Meanwhile, Padres starter Colin Rea celebrated his birthday in style, as the Padres picked up their third consecutive win with the 26-year-old on the hill. Efficiency has eluded Rea recently, but he's made up for it with craftiness, as was the case during his six solid innings Friday. Rea allowed just four hits and one earned run -- on a homer by Yankees catcher Brian McCann -- and he struck out five.
"When you don't have your best stuff, that's really when you've got to bear down," said Rea. "There's going to be plenty of games all year where you just don't have your stuff. It gives me a lot of confidence that we were able to move the ball around to both sides of the plate, make pitches when we needed to."

Rally in the ninth: Trailing by five going to the ninth, the Yankees staged a furious rally as all three batters reached against an ineffective Matt Thornton. Alex Rodriguez greeted Maurer with a pinch-hit RBI single, and Didi Gregorius drilled an RBI double, giving the New York contingent of the crowd something to cheer about. A groundout and a wild pitch made it a one-run game, but Carlos Beltran was stranded at third base representing the tying run as Maurer got Gardner to ground out.
"It's important to win the first game if you want to try to win the series," Gardner said. "I'm happy about the way we fought there in the last half inning; made it exciting, made it close. Some guys came through with some really big at-bats against some tough pitching. Just came up short."

That's a start: After Rea escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first, the Padres scratched their first run across in the bottom of the inning when ground balls by Yangervis Solarte and Melvin Upton Jr. sneaked through the infield. Derek Norris followed by plating the two of them with a rocket double into the left-field corner, giving the Friars a 3-0 lead.

Schimpf's shot: Schimpf entered his at-bat in the second inning hitless in his previous 13 at-bats, but he launched Eovaldi's 2-2 splitter into the Beach section in right-center field. The power shouldn't come as much of a surprise. At the time of his callup, Schimpf's 15 homers were the most for Triple-A El Paso, and he's launched at least 20 Minor League homers in every season since 2012.
"It's definitely pretty cool," Schimpf said. "Took a while. I didn't know it was gone, to be honest with you. I was just running hard trying to get as many bases as I could. Definitely a good feeling when it got over the fence." More >

Eovaldi stumbles again: For the sixth straight start, Eovaldi struggled, as he served up two homers to increase his career-high total to 17. Command has been the biggest issue with Eovaldi, whose ERA has swelled from 3.71 at the end of May to its current resting spot of 5.54. In his last six starts, Eovaldi has permitted 31 earned runs on 45 hits in 30 1/3 innings, accounting for an unsightly 9.20 ERA over that span.
"I've just got to do a better job of repeating my mechanics," Eovaldi said. "I feel like I get into those tough situations and I try to do too much. I try to make perfect pitches and leave them in the middle, and they get hit."

"I wasn't too worried about the calendar flipping. I felt pretty good about where his swing was." -- Green, on Myers' homering in July after setting the franchise record in June

Schimpf became the second Padre in history to record his first career homer against the Yankees. The other? Current Yankees third baseman Chase Headley, who went deep on June 18, 2008, in the Bronx.
Yankees:Ivan Nova will be looking to snap a three-start winless streak on Saturday as the Yankees and Padres meet in the second game of a three-game series. Nova has some history with the Padres; he was selected by San Diego in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, but was returned to the Yankees at the end of Spring Training. The right-hander has posted a 9.00 ERA over his last three starts, taking two losses.
Padres: Making his final start before All-Star rosters are announced, Drew Pomeranz gets the ball against the Yankees Saturday night, with first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT. Pomeranz, a fringe candidate for a spot on the National League team, sports a 2.76 ERA and a .190 batting average against -- trailing only Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.