The Rangers went into extra innings for the first time this season on Wednesday night. It did not go well for them on multiple levels.
Willie Calhoun sustained a strained left hamstring in the top of the 10th on an infield single that drove in the go-ahead run, and he may end up on the injured list.
Then, Manny Machado hit a walk-off grand slam off Rangers closer Rafael Montero in the bottom of the 10th to give the Padres a 6-3 victory at Petco Park. San Diego has hit a grand slam in three straight games against Texas, which has lost four in a row,
“It was a tough one,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We fought our butts off tonight. Montero gave it everything he had trying to pitch two innings and get us the win. We are not getting the breaks.”
Rangers starter Lance Lynn allowed two runs in seven innings, ending up with a no-decision. Lynn, who has a 1.37 ERA, has received only one run of support in three of his six starts this season.
“Whenever you lose a couple in a row, you don’t like it,” Lynn said. “That’s how we are built. We never think we should lose more than one, and when you lose four in a row, it starts eating at you a little bit.”
After Joey Gallo tied the game at 2 with a solo home run in the ninth, Montero set down the side in the bottom of the inning. Woodward said he wasn’t going to wait until there was a save situation before using Montero.
Jonathan Hernández worked a scoreless eighth, but he was pitching for the second straight game and Woodward did not want to use him for two innings in back-to-back appearances. So, he called upon Montero for the ninth.
“In this scenario, we are 10-12 [going into the game],” Woodward said. “We need to win a game, and I would hate -- not that I don’t trust the other pitchers down in the bullpen -- I would hate for my best pitcher not to pitch. That was the thinking behind it. We will figure it out when we get to the 10th, if we can keep them from scoring in the ninth.”
Trailing 3-2, the Padres started the 10th with Jurickson Profar as the automatic runner at second base, and he was bunted over to third by Greg Garcia. Montero then walked Trent Grisham after getting ahead, 1-2, in the count. Fernando Tatis Jr. worked the count full and fouled off three pitches before walking to load the bases.
Machado also worked the count full after fouling off a pair of two-strike pitches. Montero then came inside with a fastball, and Machado hit it over the left-field wall to end it.
“I have to give them credit,” Woodward said. “They fought Montero pretty hard right there. Monte was making some pretty tough pitches. Tatis had some really good foul balls the whole at-bat, the whole at-bat with Machado the same thing. They kind of wore him down.”
The Rangers opened the bottom of the 10th with Nick Solak as the automatic runner at second while right-hander Cal Quantrill was pitching for the Padres. Quantrill hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch, then fumbled Jose Trevino’s sacrifice bunt for an error, loading the bases.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler brought in left-handed sidearmer Tim Hill to face Shin-Soo Choo for a lefty-on-lefty matchup. Woodward went with right-handed hitter Rob Refsnyder as a pinch-hitter, and Hill struck him out on three pitches.
“I do trust Choo against left-handers,” Woodward said. “That was a tough one, but just from the sidearm, I felt it was a better matchup for the right-hander. It’s a tough at-bat for a left-hander.”
Danny Santana worked the count full, then took strike three on the inside corner. Santana, called out on strikes in his previous at-bat, argued with home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez and was ejected from the game.
That brought up Calhoun, who hit a roller in front of the plate which catcher Austin Hedges couldn’t make a barehanded play on. All runners were safe, giving the Rangers the lead, but Calhoun came up limping at first base and had to leave the game.
Gallo then ended the inning with a fly ball to deep right field that fell short of a grand slam.
“When Joey hits one in the sky, it usually goes kind of far,” Lynn said. “That’s how it goes, it didn’t quite carry as much as we needed it to. It happens in this game.”