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Padres' young bats crank way to win vs. Seattle

Lucchesi earns win after 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball
August 29, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- There's a clear blueprint for the offense of the future in San Diego. It was on full display Wednesday afternoon.Within the organization, the Padres feel as though the most critical pieces are already in place for a lineup that could ultimately carry them toward annual contention in

SAN DIEGO -- There's a clear blueprint for the offense of the future in San Diego. It was on full display Wednesday afternoon.
Within the organization, the Padres feel as though the most critical pieces are already in place for a lineup that could ultimately carry them toward annual contention in the National League West. In an 8-3 victory over the Mariners at Petco Park, that offense of the future looked an awful lot like the offense of the present.
Hunter Renfroe -- whose development at the plate over the past two months has been astounding -- smashed a three-run homer in the third inning and had four RBIs. Manuel Margot homered as well, and finished a triple shy of the cycle. Eric Hosmer and new callup Luis Urias had three hits apiece.

"I think that's how it's supposed to be drawn up," said Renfroe, who now has nine homers and a .950 OPS in August.
Perhaps most notably, Urias -- the top second-base prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline -- sprayed line drives all over the ballpark. The 21-year-old earned his callup on Tuesday, and he's wasted no time making an impact.
Urias notched his first career hit in the third, an opposite-field single, and he received a standing ovation. In the fourth, he came inches shy of his first career homer, which was overturned after a replay review. No matter, he doubled in the sixth and singled in the eighth, completing a 3-for-5 afternoon.

"I'm very excited, very happy," Urias said. "We won the two games [against the Mariners], and that's what's great."
Sure, it's only one game in late August. San Diego remains 31 games under .500, and long-term questions persist at several key spots.
But the outline is in place. Along with the top second baseman, the Padres also own the game's best catching and shortstop prospects in Francisco Mejia and Fernando Tatis Jr., respectively. By early next season, both should be making an impact at the Major League level.
"Every one of these young guys we add to the mix buoys everybody else," said Padres manager Andy Green. "It's been no secret we've talked about these guys for a while."
If everything goes according to the plans of general manager A.J. Preller, the Padres should boast a pretty potent offense in the next year or two. When they do, it's supposed to look an awful lot like it looked Wednesday afternoon.
JOEY EN FUEGO
The eight-run, 13-hit outburst was plenty of support for rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi, who was excellent over 6 2/3 innings -- the longest outing of his impressive rookie season. Lucchesi struck out nine and allowed just one run on six hits.

Lucchesi had mostly struggled since he returned from a right hip strain in June. But he's looked sharp in four of his last five outings now.
"He's pitched very, very well," Green said. "It's going to be an outstanding rookie campaign for him. … There's a lot to be encouraged by."
On Wednesday, Lucchesi eclipsed the 100-inning plateau and lowered his ERA to 3.59 in the process. Since 2001, only one Padres rookie has thrown at least 100 innings with a lower mark -- Cory Luebke in 2011.
THAT'S GOTTA HURT
Lucchesi's outing came into some doubt in the top of the fourth inning when Ryon Healy hit a comebacker at Lucchesi's midsection. Lucchesi scrambled to field the ball and delivered an accurate throw to first.

Then, he was down for the count.
Understandably so. Replays showed that Healy's liner caromed off the heel of Lucchesi's glove and into his groin area. His teammates converged on the mound. When they realized Lucchesi would be OK, they covered their faces with their gloves, an attempt to conceal laughter.
"That woke me up, for sure," Lucchesi said. "Then I was like, 'All right, I'll just attack these guys and keep going.'"
Sure enough, Lucchesi struck out each of the next five hitters, and he wouldn't allow another hit until there were two outs in the seventh.
HE SAID IT
"You look back at when me, [Austin Hedges], Margot, [Carlos] Asuaje all got called up on the same day [in 2016] and how we all felt when we got our first hit. Then you look to these guys, and it's awesome to see. It's awesome to be a part of that and to be almost a veteran now. You know how it feels when you see that smile on their face." -- Renfroe, on Urias' first hit
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Urias' fourth-inning drive was initially ruled a home run by first-base umpire Ben May. He rounded the bases and celebrated with his teammates in the dugout, while the Mariners asked for a crew chief review. It was eventually granted, and replays showed that the ball struck the fence to the right of the foul pole, negating Urias' blast. He'd ground out two pitches later.

"That's the most painful home run overturn I've ever been a part of," Green said.
UP NEXT
Eric Lauer has spent the past month on the disabled list with a left forearm strain. He's slated to return from the DL on Thursday when the Padres open a four-game series at Petco Park with the Rockies at 7:10 p.m. PT. Lauer finished the first half strong, but slumped after the All-Star break before his injury. He looks to get back on track after three poor starts. Colorado counters with right-hander German Marquez.

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