The Padres’ bats had multiple opportunities to distance themselves from the Reds on Tuesday night after jumping to an early lead. With bases-loaded opportunities in four innings, the Padres left them loaded in all four instances.
But on a day when Blake Snell was scratched from his start due to illness, the Friars’ relievers made up for the missed opportunities on offense as they kept the Reds quiet enough to close the series opener at Great American Ball Park with a 5-4 win on Tuesday night.
Craig Stammen was moved into a starting role for San Diego after Snell’s late and unexpected absence. He contributed two innings and allowed one run before he passed the baton off to Nick Ramirez, who also kept the Reds to one run over two innings of work as the Friars used a total of eight relievers to piece together a win on an unexpected bullpen day.
“Definitely a group effort,” said Tommy Pham, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a homer. “Our bullpen held it down for us tonight. We needed them to step up big. Blake wasn't feeling well, and they came in and did their thing.”
Following a two-run homer surrendered by Nabil Crismatt to Jesse Winker in the fifth inning, the Padres kept the Reds off the scoreboard in the final four innings and limited them to an infield hit and one walk.
Reds manager David Bell said Winker’s homer sparked some life in their dugout, but the effectiveness of the Padres’ bullpen quieted the comeback effort.
“Getting back to within reach there with really a lot of game to be played, you felt it,” Bell said. “It gave us an opportunity to really go for it there. Their bullpen, to their credit, did a nice job. … The last two innings, we weren’t able to get a runner, which was really important with the guys coming up there in the middle of the order.”
A returning Drew Pomeranz, who appeared in his first game since May 9 after going down with a left shoulder impingement, also contributed to the bullpen night as he pitched a scoreless seventh inning despite walking the first batter on four pitches. He was also aided by a diving play from Wil Myers, who robbed Nick Castellanos and prevented Jonathan India from advancing from first.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said the win was made possible by several key plays and everyone doing their part.
“I thought we made some good plays out there, maybe no play bigger than Wil's play in right field when Pom was on the mound,” Tingler said. “And so overall, just a really good team win and a lot of guys just stepping up to get it done for one another.”
The Friars came out scoring early following a 52-minute rain delay. Jake Cronenworth pushed across San Diego’s first run when he drove in Fernando Tatis Jr. on an RBI triple with one out in the first inning. Manny Machado brought Cronenworth home the next at-bat with a sac fly.
San Diego tacked on another run in the second inning and a pair of runs in the fourth, with RBIs by Pham in both frames.
Despite the early success, the Padres left the bases loaded in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings as they left 16 runners on base. That was the most runners left on in a nine-inning game by the Padres since they stranded 16 on base on Sept. 23, 1985, against the Giants.
“With the group that we have, the lineup depth that we have, if we're doing our jobs and getting on base, the leaving runners in scoring position, honestly, that that would be the last of my concerns,” Tingler said. “I know we're gonna, on most nights, get those guys in. I like the at-bats we’re having. So just continue to pressure the zone [and] good things will happen.”