Rougned Odor Homers Will Give Padres Series Victory Over Nationals

WASHINGTON — The Padres have taken their share of hits in the first 50 games of the season. None quite like round seven on Thursday, though. The Nationals hit seven straight hits to score five runs, leaving the Brothers stunned.

Two innings later, the Padres were considering the prospect of losing a sixth straight series — and a third straight to a last-place team. They sat five games under .500 and were on the verge of their worst loss of the year. We are only at the end of May. But was it possible that their season was faltering?

In a team full of superstars with the biggest payroll in franchise history, it’s Odor — a Minor League signing this spring — who has emerged as the Padres’ most reliable clutch hitter of late. . Sure enough, Odor hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth inning, sending San Diego to a remarkable 8-6 win at Nationals Park.

“Somebody’s got to start it,” Odor said afterwards. “That guy is me. Now let’s go.

The Padres can only hope it’s the win that will put their season in the right direction.

“Yeah, that wasn’t the best match,” said Jake Cronenworth, whose debut single sparked the winning rally. “But what we did in the ninth inning, to come back, string a bunch of quality batsmen together – that’s something we just have to grasp.”

Cronenworth started the ninth with a fierce eight-pitch battle against Nats closest Hunter Harvey. He fouled on three consecutive two-strike offers – one of which was such a defensive swing that he nearly knocked out Juan Soto in the circle on the bridge.

After Cronenworth’s single, Soto followed suit. Soto competed in each of his first four set appearances, but when Harvey snagged a splitter, Soto ripped it right. On his second trip to DC since the trade last summer, Soto finished the week having reached base in 11 of 14 plate appearances — including seven times by walk. But don’t let his patience fool you.

“I’m like, ‘Aggressive all the time,'” Soto said. I want to. I want to swing the bat.

De Soto’s single put the men in first and second with no one, when the Padres continued their recent trend — heck, at this point, it’s not just a trend anymore — of not converting with runners in the position of to mark. Xander Bogaerts and Matt Carpenter came out on strikes, bringing the team down to .182 in RISP situations this season.

Smell enhanced, given the increased playing time recently in Manny Machado’s absence. Odor received a 99 mph fastball on the inside half, turned it on and dropped it into the right field bullpen. In their last 11 games, the Padres had just three hits with men in the scoring position scoring multiple runs. The smell has all three.

“He’s a winner,” Soto said.

“You feel good when he’s at the plate right now,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “He is not afraid of any situation.”

The Padres, of course, still have a lot of question marks to answer. They did not resolve their RISP issues, finishing Thursday’s game 3-16 in such situations. Their bullpen, which had been dominant lately, crumbled in the seventh.

But those question marks are best faced after a win – perhaps their most thrilling victory of their season.

“That’s what good teams do,” Soto said. “We just keep fighting. Even when we are struggling, we have to go out there and keep fighting.

The Padres were leading 5-1 in the seventh when things started to escalate. Tim Hill and Nick Martinez combined to allow seven straight hits to start the seventh, although Martinez managed to stop the bleeding. The inning ended when catcher Brett Sullivan made an incredible jump to get Alex Call’s smash after a loose dirt ball. The deficit remained one.

Of course, every Padres deficit has felt massive lately, no matter how many. The Padres hadn’t overcome a deficit to win a game since May 5. They failed Brandon Dixon after his first double in the eighth. They looked set to fail two more in the ninth.

But Odor – now with a slant line of 0.409/0.480/0.818 since the day after Machado’s injury – is confident things will change. He homered in Wednesday’s loss and later said it would only take “one game” to trigger that change.

A day later he brought it up.

“I said it,” Odor said. “It takes a game to start. Let’s see tomorrow.

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