SAN DIEGO -- Manny Machado is in the hits column.
Well, technically, he had 1,050 of them entering play Friday night. But he's officially in the hits column as a San Diego Padre.
Machado went 2-for-4 on Friday night, singling in the fifth and seventh innings of the Padres’ 4-1 victory over San Francisco. After going hitless with four strikeouts in his first five at-bats, Machado clearly wasn’t all that fazed.
“Feels great,” Machado said. “Got it over with, and it couldn't have come any better than with that W.”
Machado’s first hit came on a hanging slider from reliever Trevor Gott that he poked into left field. It was part of a run-scoring rally that put the Padres on top, 4-0, en route to their first 2-0 start since 2011.
His seventh-inning knock was a bit more authoritative – a 107 mph missile back up the middle off Mark Melancon. It was the type of laser for which Machado is known – and among the reasons the Padres inked him to a record-setting 10-year deal last month.
“He probably didn't have the five at-bats he envisioned to start his Padre career, but after he struck out, before the two hits he got, he's dancing in the dugout with Franmil [Reyes] between innings,” said Padres manager Andy Green. “He knows he's good. He's knows the hits will come.”
It speaks volumes about the strides made by the Padres on offense that they haven't needed to rely on Machado or Eric Hosmer in their first two games. Wil Myers, Ian Kinsler and top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. have done the heavy lifting.
“We're all bringing energy, and it's really fun to watch,” Machado said. “... It's just been a really good couple days. We've just got to keep playing like we've been playing.”
That said, Machado is the unquestioned anchor in a suddenly potent San Diego lineup.
He's officially gotten his first hit out of the way. Safe to say he'll probably add a few more.
“He's going to hit,” Green said. “There's no doubt in the world.”