Padres Force Game Three, Defeat Cardinals 11-9

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Game Two: Padres 11, Cardinals 9

The San Diego Padres avoided elimination as they rallied from a 6-2 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-9 on Thursday night. The beginning of the game felt eerily similar to Game One for the Padres, but their bats came to life in the sixth inning, and they didn’t slow down.

Cardinals Strike First (Again)

A key reason for the Cardinals win in Game One was their quick start at the plate. They repeated this in Game Two by scoring four runs in the first two innings. As a result, they chased Padres starter Zach Davies from the game after the second inning. This could have a huge impact for San Diego in Game Three, due to their bullpen having to pitch 13 2/3 innings between the first two games.

Catcher Yadier Molina got things going in the first inning with a two-out, two-strike single to right field to give his team a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, St. Louis got an RBI single from center fielder Harrison Bader and a two-run homer from second baseman Kolten Wong.

Padres Come To Life

Down 6-2 in the sixth inning, the Padres needed a spark. Well, they got it, courtesy of young superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. On a 2-2 count, Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos threw a fifth straight slider to Tatis, who drilled the ball to left field to make it a 6-5 game.

“I feel like we needed that big swing for the entire team to get us going,” Tatis said of the homer. “We were missing a lot with runners in scoring position. I feel like whoever did it first, we were going to feed off that.”

Padres third baseman Manny Machado followed him with his first home run of the 2020 postseason to complete the comeback and tie the game at 6-6.

In the seventh, Padres right fielder Wil Myers gave San Diego the lead with a solo shot over the left-field fence. Then, Tatis did this with a man on first base and one out:

The Padres would add on in the eighth inning with a two-run blast from Myers to make it 11-8. When it was all said in done, the Padres had scored nine runs in the final three innings.

“It’s a good lineup, no secrets to it,” Cardinals manager Mike Schildt said. “We pitched them tough. Once the momentum started we weren’t able to have any shutdown innings.”

A Shaky Ninth

Leading 11-8 in the ninth, San Diego called upon their closer Trevor Rosenthal. Although they were down three with a flamethrower on the mound, St. Louis didn’t back down. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt led off the ninth by depositing a 99 mph fastball over the left-field wall to make it 11-9. Things got more unsettling for the Padres as Rosenthal walked left fielder Dylan Carlson and gave up an opposite-field single to Molina. However, Rosenthal retired the next three hitters to preserve the lead and to force a win-or-go-home game on Friday night.

Padres Make History At the Plate

Myers and Tatis made some incredible history in Game Two, as they became the second pair of teammates to homer in the same postseason game. The other duo to accomplish this feat? Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the 1932 World Series.

“To be in the record books with those guys,” Tatis said, “you’re doing something right.”

The Padres also made more history in their Game Two victory. They became the first team in postseason history to hit five home runs from the sixth inning onward in a game. All of this power that was on display on Thursday night shows why the team earned the nickname “Slam Diego” in the regular season.

Up Next

The Cardinals will send right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-3, 4.91 ERA) to the mound in a decisive Game Three. As for San Diego, they haven’t announced a starter. The Padres are short-handed in their rotation as Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet were not included on the wild-card roster due to injuries. When asked after the game on who might start Game Three, Padres manager Jayce Tingler responded, “I got no idea.”

The game will start at 7:08 p.m. Eastern and will be televised on ESPN.

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