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HomeSportsBaseballMLB News: Despite bad news, Padres forge ahead vs. Nationals

MLB News: Despite bad news, Padres forge ahead vs. Nationals

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About the only thing that went right for the San Diego Padres Monday came on the field.

There, they erased a three-run deficit in the bottom of the 10th inning with four runs to stop the visiting Washington Nationals 7-6 and extend their lead for the National League’s third wild-card spot to 1 1/2 games on Washington, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets.

San Diego will try to clinch a series win Tuesday night when it takes on the Nationals again in the second contest of the three-game set.

It will do so without Fernando Tatis Jr. in the lineup for a while. The team’s right fielder hit the injured list Monday with a stress reaction in his right leg that, combined with an elbow contusion, had shelved him since the fifth inning on Friday night.

“He could still play — because he’s been playing with it,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “But it’s something that’s not going to get better unless we rest it.”

The team’s upcoming schedule influenced the decision. San Diego has four off-days between Thursday and the All-Star break, plus four more surrounding the game. The hope is that will give Tatis ample time to recover while missing the fewest number of games.

The Padres got other bad news on the injury front when Tuesday night’s scheduled starter, Yu Darvish, had a setback after making a rehab start Wednesday night at High-A Fort Wayne. Darvish hit the injured list nearly a month ago with a left groin strain but now has elbow inflammation.

So San Diego recalled right-hander Adam Mazur from Triple-A El Paso to take Darvish’s place. Mazur (0-2, 7.27 ERA) pitched in Thursday night’s 7-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, lasting 4 2/3 innings and permitting three runs off five hits and three walks with three strikeouts, then sent back to El Paso. This will be his first start against Washington.

Meanwhile, the Nationals will send former Padre MacKenzie Gore (6-6, 3.49) to the hill. The left-hander took a 5-2 loss Thursday against Arizona, yielding 10 hits and four runs in five innings while walking two and striking out seven.

Gore is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two career starts against San Diego, winning last year on the road and taking a no-decision at home.

On the season, he’s struck out 98 batters in 80 innings but is allowing a whopping .377 average on balls put in play.

Despite Monday night’s bitter outcome, Washington is in contention near its halfway point of the season, something most didn’t expect. Gore and infielder CJ Abrams, both acquired from the Padres in the Juan Soto trade in August 2022, said team chemistry has enabled it to enjoy some success.

“We have a really good group of guys and we want to win for each other,” Gore said. “It’s still early. We have a lot of games left but it’s been fun being part of this group and watching these guys get better.”

“This is our team now,” Abrams said. “We’re doing our thing.”

Abrams’ thing has been a hit in June. He went 3-for-5 Monday, upping his average to .275, and stole two bases to give him 13 for the year. He leads the team in homers (12), runs (47), slugging (.502) and on-base plus slugging (.827).

–Field Level Media

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