Mon, Sep 18, 2023 11:39 PM
By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres' longest winning streak of the season is likely way too little, way too late to save a massively disappointing season.
Luis Campusano hit a go-ahead three-run home run and Garrett Cooper and Eugy Rosario also connected for the Padres, who beat the Colorado Rockies 11-9 on Monday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best five games.
The high-priced Padres, who have underwhelmed all season coming off a stirring run to the NL Championship Series, became the last team in the majors to win four straight games on Sunday when they swept the Oakland Athletics, who have baseball's worst record. The Rockies have the NL's worst record.
“We’re just in a better place,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s one of those things where we haven’t been able to get to all year where it just feels good, feel like you’re going to score, feel like you can add on. There’s a looseness to how we’re playing right now. That’s why we’ve played our best baseball here the last five games or so. Actually the last seven or eight.”
San Diego is an extreme longshot to make the postseason, coming into Monday night six games out of the final wild card berth, with four teams ahead of them. The Padres have been below .500 since May 12 despite a payroll of about $250 million, the third-highest in the big leagues.
“You know what, we've got to not think about that right now. We'll add them all up later," Melvin said. "Right now we just have to continue to try to play well and regardless, finish out the season strong and have a good feeling.”
Campusano went down on his right knee as he muscled his seventh homer out of the ballyard for a 5-3 lead with two outs in the third against Ty Blach (3-2). Campusano finished with three hits.
Cooper hit a two-run homer with no outs in the second, his 16th. Rosario hit a solo shot with two outs in the fourth, his second.
Juan Soto had two RBI singles to join Aaron Judge (2022, 2017) as the only active players with multiple 30-homer, 100-RBI, 100-walk seasons. Soto also did it in 2019 with Washington, his second big-league season. He's the 40th player in big league history to accomplish the feat.
Soto is the Padres' only player to appear in every game this season.
“You play 162 games, those numbers are probably going to show up somewhere for him if he's healthy," Melvin said. “His start wasn't great, but it's what he does, what he's basically done basically every year. He's on a roll right now and he can put numbers up in a hurry.”
Xander Bogaerts fell a homer short of the cycle, reached base four times and scored three runs.
Rockies rookie Nolan Jones homered off Nick Hernandez leading off the sixth, his 17th. Jones had three hits and two RBIs.
Padres starter Michael Wacha (12-4) allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked none.
The Padres led 11-3 after five innings but turned it into a save situation for Josh Hader, who got the final out for his 30th.
Blach went just 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs and nine hits.
Third baseman Manny Machado said he might have surgery on his right elbow as soon as the Padres are eliminated from the playoff race. He's been bothered by tennis elbow and has been relegated to playing designated hitter since Sept. 1. “As long as there’s a slight chance and we’re not eliminated, he wants to play as much as he can for his team,” manager Bob Melvin said.
The sellout crowd of 42,062 helped the Padres draw a record 3,029,009 fans to Petco Park this season. That mark does not include two “home” games played in Mexico City that drew a total of 39,244 fans. The old record was 3,016,752 in Petco Park's inaugural season of 2004.
Padres LHP Blake Snell (14-9, MLB-best 2.43 ERA), a leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award, and Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (2-3, 5.86) are scheduled to start Tuesday night. Snell is trying to become the seventh player to win the award in both leagues. He was the AL Cy Young Award winner with Tampa Bay in 2018.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB