SAN DIEGO (AP) — Manny Machado’s first home run with the San Diego Padres was a no-doubter that left the home fans happy
Machado hit a two-run drive with two outs in the seventh inning of a 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday that capped a 4-3 opening homestand.
The All-Star slugger lined an 0-2 fastball into the balcony on the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner. The two-out homer came off former Padres farmhand Matt Andriese.
“Awesome. It feels great to finally get it out of the way, get it in front of the home crowd and come out with the W,” Machado said. “Couldn’t be any better.”
Machado is hitting .240 with three RBIs in his first seven games after signing a $300 million, 10-year contract early in spring training.
While he seemed to be pressing at times during the season’s first week, he said he wasn’t trying to do too much.
“No, I mean, just trying to find my swing, find a groove,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Just trying to get some good pitches to hit.”
Machado matched his career-high last year with 37 homers between Baltimore and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 26-year-old has 176 homers
“I’ve got a few. I’m kind of used to it already,” he said. “There’s always that first one with a new ballclub. This is the second part of my career. It’s exciting to get it here. It was awesome to get it at home, for sure.”
His homer followed a one-out single by Ian Kinsler, another new Padres player.
“It was good. We needed those insurance runs,” manager Andy Green. “It was big for us. We knew it was coming. We’re happy to see it out of the way. “He’s going to be a huge part of everything we do here. He’s played great defense.”
Left-hander Joey Lucchesi (2-0) extended his scoreless innings streak to 10 1/3 innings to start the season as the Padres avoided a three-game sweep. Lucchesi held Arizona to four hits in five innings, struck out six and walked one.
Jake Lamb hit an RBI double for Arizona with two outs in the ninth and injured himself halfway between first and second. He walked off under his own power.
With two outs in the fifth and two runners on in a scoreless game, manager Andy Green opted to have Francisco Mejia, the backup catcher, hit for Lucchesi, and it paid off. Mejia lined a double into the left-field corner off Robbie Ray (0-1), bringing in Fernando Tatis Jr. from second. Tatis, who had just missed a home run by about 20 feet, and Austin Hedges walked in front of Mejia.
San Diego chased Ray with consecutive walks by Machado and Franmil Reyes with one out in the sixth. Yoshihisa Hirano came on and gave up Hunter Renfroe’s single, then walked Eric Hosmer as the Padres took a 2-0 lead.
Ray allowed two runs and two hits in 5 1/3 innings, walked five and struck out three.
The Diamondbacks won two of three after being roughed up in losing three of four at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I felt like we came into San Diego, played good baseball,” manager Tory Lovullo said. “I thought Robbie threw the ball extremely well today. Just made some mistakes at the wrong time and fell behind some hitters, got some traffic out there and couldn’t close out the innings.”
Diamondbacks right fielder Adam Jones, a San Diego native, said he asked security to eject a fan who cussed at him after he made a nice running catch of Eric Hosmer’s fly ball in the fifth. “It was a nice play, too, it kind of takes away from the play.” Jones said.
“These fans in sports, they’re starting to get more brazen,” he added. “I’ve said it many times, obviously had bad altercations with fans. My biggest thing is keep the banter polite, you know, we suck, you struck out, keep it light, keep it smart. There’s kids in the stadium. The second you start cussing me out like I’m a little kid, that’s a no-no. On the street they’d never do that. There’s no need for all that kind of stuff. The second I hear somebody cussing us out, you’re gone.”
Jones said the comment wasn’t racist. Two years ago while with Baltimore, Jones was the target of racial taunts at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Jones played at San Diego’s Morse High. “One hundred percent people know I’m from here. Last night we had some people being really ignorant above our dugout and I told them, ‘You don’t think I’m from San Diego, watch what you say to me because I’m from here. That means all my boys are here, so be aware.’ ”
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said Lamb has a left quad strain and likely will have an MRI Thursday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (0-1, 11.81) is scheduled to start the home opener Friday night against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who make just their second visit to Chase Field.
Padres: Rookie LHP Nick Margevicius (0-1, 1.80) is scheduled to start Friday at St. Louis in the Cardinals’ home opener, which was moved back a day because rain is forecast. The Cardinals are scheduled to counter with RHP Jack Flaherty (0-0, 8.31).
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