Machado's X-rays negative: 'As good as it could be'

June 20th, 2022

DENVER -- The Padres dropped another game against the Rockies on Sunday, 8-3, to extend their losing streak at Coors Field to 10 games. They were dealt a bigger blow when slugger Manny Machado suffered a left ankle sprain in the first inning and left the game.

X-rays on the ankle were negative, and the club is relieved he avoided a more serious injury.

“Fortunately, when he felt himself slip, he was able to shift his weight to the right and probably avoid more serious damage,” acting manager Ryan Flaherty said. “As good as it could be with what it looked like.”

Machado hit a dribbler in front of home plate that was fielded by Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela, who threw him out at first. Running out the play, Machado stepped on first base with his left foot, which then slid across the bag. He turned his ankle as his foot landed on the dirt, then grabbed it in pain after stumbling to the ground.

Flaherty said he will know more about Machado’s status after the team returns to San Diego.

“We’ve got to wait for the swelling to go down and he gets treated,” Flaherty said. “We’ll probably have a better idea of that [Monday].”

Machado is having a strong season, hitting .329 with 12 home runs, 46 RBIs and seven stolen bases -- all of which lead the team -- in 65 games to put him in the NL MVP conversation. He has carried San Diego with Fernando Tatis Jr. still on the injured list, so someone else will need to pick up the baton in Machado’s absence.

Luke Voit showed he can be that guy.

An inning after Machado was injured, Voit hit an 84 mph slider a Statcast-projected 437 feet out, just short of concourse behind the left-field seats. It was his ninth home run of the season, which is second to Machado on the Padres.

“We need some guys to fill that void,” said Voit, who also doubled and walked in five plate appearances. “I'm going to do everything I can to keep doing what I've been doing, just be myself, not turning to something different. 

“But it's tough because [Machado is] capable of doing a lot of things.”

Voit was on deck when Machado suffered the injury, and he initially thought it was more serious.

“Luckily, it was his ankle,” Voit said. “Honestly, it could have been his knee, which would have been detrimental to our team. I think he's in good spirits right now. And hopefully it's something minimum and he’ll be back out there pretty soon.”

Jake Cronenworth can also be an offensive catalyst if he keeps hitting like he has the last week. He went 16-for-29 on the Padres’ seven-game road trip with six multi-hit efforts, doubling in his only one-hit outing. He raised his average 37 points to .258.

San Diego lost all three weekend games to Colorado on the heels of sweeping a four-game series at the Chicago Cubs. The last time the Padres were swept right after doing the same to an opponent was 2019, when they took the entirety of a three-game series from Milwaukee only to lose three in a row to Pittsburgh.

San Diego suffered from some self-inflicted damage in the series finale. Steven Wilson, who grew up in Littleton, a Denver suburb, gave up a three-run homer in the fifth on his second pitch. Adrian Morejon was slow to cover first base on Charlie Blackmon’s single in the seventh, and later in the inning, Craig Stammen walked Ryan McMahon and Elias Díaz consecutively to bring home another run.

The offense also sputtered in a notoriously hitter-friendly park. The Padres scored 41 runs in four games at Wrigley Field but managed just 11 in the three losses to the Rockies.

“I thought we swung the bats really well,” Cronenworth said. “The first two games we had [a combined 18] hits, today we had [10]. We just need those timely hits or a couple of balls to drop, and I think it’s a different series.”