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Rockies 7, Padres 3: McMahon plates five, helps prevent series sweep

Colorado’s five hitter went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run, two-run double and a run scored

Ryan McMahon had a tough end to July, finishing 2-for-28 at the plate. His cold streak is a thing of the past.

The Colorado infielder began August going 5-for-12 entering today, and after driving in five runs this afternoon, his showing today against the Padres matched his RBI total over his previous 20 games combined.

With ample runners on the bases, McMahon delivered. He went 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the third a three-run home run in the fifth, outscoring the Padres’ total run column by himself. There was at least one runner in scoring position for three of his four plate appearances.

Along with a web gem by Sam Hilliard, a 3-for-5 showing by José Iglesias and plenty of hits at the bottom of the order, the Rockies were able to overcome a +240 money line and escaped a five-game sweep at the hands of the Padres. Colorado did so against arguably the most exciting team in baseball — at their most exciting time of the year so far.

McMahon’s extra-base damage

With two runners in scoring position, San Diego starter Joe Musgrove spotted up a 92 MPH fastball. McMahon did with it what the Padres’ battery didn’t think he would do: piece up the 2-2 heater to his pull side. He was out on the base paths, but not before two runs scored.

On Musgrove’s 101st pitch of the day, he served up a 2-1 breaking ball that caught enough strike zone for McMahon’s liking. It would land a few feet beyond the right-center field fence, and it would end up being Musgrove’s final pitch of the day.

Hilliard robs a homer!

Padres infielder Brandon Drury was eyeing his second home run with the Padres in his second game with the team — that is, until Sam Hilliard showed off some hops in left field.

That baseball was destined for the left field seats, and Brandon Drury was about to become Mr. San Diego if not for the outstanding defense.

Musgrove pitches his shortest start of 2022

In his first appearance since inking a five-year, $100 million extension with the Padres, Joe Musgrove failed to complete a fifth inning of work for the first time this year (19 starts). All six of his runs were earned, lifting his season ERA from 2.65 to 3.00.

Freeland allows two* runs in 5 23 innings

Despite matching a season-high four walks (along with one hit-by-pitch), Kyle Freeland stranded nine of his 11 baserunners allowed. It took 113 pitches for Freeland to retire his 26th and final batter of the day, and he recorded three more outs than the opposing starter Musgrove.

Freeland faced just 14 batters in his first four innings of work (two more than a minimum 12). He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth (strikeout, hit-by-pitch, single, flyout, walk, flyout) while the Padres’ Juan Soto ended the frame in the on-deck circle.

Soto opened up the sixth inning with a leadoff fly ball to right-center field, landing between outfielders Yonathan Daza and Charlie Blackmon on presumed miscommunication. Scored a triple by the official scorer, a Josh Bell single to follow would credit Freeland with a tough-luck earned run.

Colorado’s lefty would pitch to four more hitters, collecting two strikeouts but allowing two singles. Freeland would leave runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth, leaving the fate of his start in the hands of the Rockies bullpen — two days removed from a taxing doubleheader.

Without Hilliard’s home run robbery and a quick popout by Carlos Estévez, two runs allowed by Freeland could have easily turned into five. (His outing could have featured as little as one, if not for Soto’s triple in question.)

Freeland’s final line: 5 23 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 7 K. 113 pitches.

Iglesias collects three hits and drives in two

McMahon and José Iglesias were the only Rockies hitters to drive in a run this afternoon. Iglesias went 3-for-5 and posted his 25th double of the season, scoring Brian Serven from second. That double came just two batters prior to McMahon’s three-run homer.

Iglesias cashed in the Rockies’ seventh and final run of the day, scoring Hilliard on a single to right.

Serven, Blackmon, Hilliard serve as extreme table setters

Hilliard, Serven and Blackmon went a combined 7-for-13 this afternoon, and all seven of their hits were singles. Batting eighth, ninth and first in the order, this was huge for the two-hitting Iglesias and eventual at-bats by McMahon.

San Diego’s Soto, Bell go a combined 4-for-8

Juan Soto hit a double and a triple today while Josh Bell had two singles. Along with Drury’s grand slam on Wednesday and his would-have-been homer today, the new Padres acquisitions have familiarized themselves well to Petco Park.

Rockies bullpen tosses 3 13 lower-leverage innings

Colorado held a win probability above 90% for every pitch after the middle of the fifth inning. Low leverage was no deterrent for most Colorado relievers, however; after Estévez stranded Freeland’s runners in the sixth, it was then Lucas Gilbreath on to pitch a scoreless seventh and Alex Colomé a scoreless eighth.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard had not pitched in four days entering this afternoon. He did allow one run in a two-hit ninth, but otherwise polished off a 9-3 victory in a non-save situation.

Image courtesy of FanGraphs

Up Next

The eight-game road trip will continue, this time sending the Rockies a short distance from San Diego to Phoenix where the 46-58 Arizona Diamondbacks await for a three game set. This series will be Colorado’s third and final in the state of Arizona this year; the Rockies are currently 4-3 at Chase Field this season.

Starting pitchers Germán Márquez and Madison Bumgarner will kick off the series on Friday. Both pitchers hold a combined 16 years of MLB service time; Bumgarner has 11, while Màrquez has six.

High temperatures in Phoenix are projected north of 100 degrees all weekend, so the Chase Field roof will be closed. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. MDT.