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Myers, Padres reward Mitchell, rally past M's

San Diego tags closer Diaz with loss after 3-hit 9th inning
September 11, 2018

SEATTLE -- It's going to take more than a couple decent September outings for Bryan Mitchell to earn his way into the Padres' 2019 rotation plans. But with a strong finish to the season, Mitchell at least has the chance to throw his name back into the conversation.Mitchell worked six

SEATTLE -- It's going to take more than a couple decent September outings for Bryan Mitchell to earn his way into the Padres' 2019 rotation plans. But with a strong finish to the season, Mitchell at least has the chance to throw his name back into the conversation.
Mitchell worked six innings of one-run ball Tuesday evening, and William Myers smacked a go-ahead double in the ninth against Edwin Diaz as the Padres beat the Mariners, 2-1, at Safeco Field. Hunter Renfroe and Eric Hosmer sparked the rally with consecutive singles to lead off the ninth.
"It was a pretty cool team win all the way around with Mitchell, the bullpen coming in to shut the door and those timely hits," Myers said.

But the Padres' victory may have come at a serious cost. Top second-base prospect Luis Urias pulled his left hamstring in the eighth inning while attempting to beat out an infield grounder. Manager Andy Green indicated that it's "doubtful" Urias returns this season.
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"I don't think it looks particularly good, given the amount of time we have left in the season," Green said. "We'll see how he responds to treatment. Hopefully it's nothing big, but he's doubtful at this point in time."

As for Mitchell, it was his second start since a three-month stint on the disabled list with a right elbow impingement. Since his return, he's relied heavily on his two-seam fastball -- and it's worked to some success.
In those two outings, Mitchell has allowed two runs on six hits in 11 innings, though he's walked five and struck out only four. He hasn't been lights-out by any stretch. But Mitchell feels as though he's turned a corner since he saw his ERA soar above seven before landing on the DL in early June.
"I can't change what happened earlier," Mitchell said. "But these last two starts have been two good steppingstones moving forward. That's all I can really control right now is to try and finish strong."
Mitchell surrendered a homer to Robinson Cano in the third, but the Padres tied the game half an inning later on Franmil Reyes' RBI infield single. From there, Mitchell and the San Diego bullpen held the Mariners in check. Matt Strahm and Craig Stammen escaped jams in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before Kirby Yates worked a perfect ninth.

Mitchell -- an important piece in the Padres' December trade with the Yankees -- is determined not to get too caught up in the big-picture aspects of his starts.
"It's another step in the right direction," Mitchell said of Tuesday's outing. "I'll just try to keep that rolling."
It's been a grind for Myers since he transitioned to third base a month ago -- and not just defensively where he's made four errors and at least as many additional misplays. Myers entered play Tuesday hitting just .203/.284/.304 as a third baseman.
"On either side of the ball, I've been pretty terrible," Myers said. "It's one of those things that wears on you. Especially when you're not doing anything offensively, you want to be able to help defensively, and I haven't been able to do that."
On Tuesday, Myers was solid defensively, making two nice plays on Mariners ground balls. On offense, he contributed two hits and a stolen base. In other words, Myers was precisely the complete player that he's been aiming to be.
"I don't think anything defensively has affected my hitting," Myers said. "I feel live I've just kind of been struggling hitting right now. It is what it is, but it kind of sucks when both of them are bad together. So it felt good to make some plays over there and also help at the plate.

Myers' steal was his ninth of the season, and he still hasn't been caught. Only Texas' Jurickson Profar (10-for-10) has more stolen bases this year without being thrown out.
Mitchell induced his share of weak contact, but he lucked his way into an out in the fourth -- thanks in part to some quick thinking by Hosmer. With two outs and nobody aboard, Mike Zunino hit a cue shot into foul ground. But the spin on the ball took it toward fair territory. Hosmer stood at first base and merely waited for the ball to cross the foul line, before tagging Zunino for the final out of the inning.

"It's pretty cool that we could sit back and say we got to arguably the best closer in the game. You take some confidence out of that." -- Myers
Joey Lucchesi recorded his longest start of the season against the Mariners on Aug. 29, throwing 108 pitches in 6 2/3 innings and allowing one run. The young left-hander has been solid lately, and he's looking to finish his rookie campaign strong. Lucchesi takes the ball Wednesday afternoon opposite former Padre Wade LeBlanc, with first pitch at Safeco Field slated for 3:40 p.m. PT.

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