Machado powers Padres past Scherzer, Mets
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Manny Machado homered twice off Max Scherzer and drove in five runs for the San Diego Padres, who got six strong innings from Joe Musgrove to beat the New York Mets 6-2 Sunday and take two of three in a series between high-priced, yet underwhelming, teams.
The teams came in buried in fourth place in their respective divisions with identical 42-47 records. The Padres head into the All-Star break with five wins in six games, while the Mets have lost two straight following a season-best six-game winning streak.
The Mets and Padres have failed to live up to the enormous expectations brought on by their massive payrolls. After the 101-win Mets were eliminated in the wild-card round by the Padres, they went on a spending spree that sent their payroll soaring to a record $360 million. The Padres, who reached the NL Championship Series, have the third-highest payroll at about $250 million.
The Padres got to Scherzer (8-3) right away and handed him his first loss since May 3 at Detroit. Kim Ha-Seong hit a leadoff single to left, Fernando Tatis Jr. doubled off the center field wall with one out and then Machado drove a 2-2 pitch into the middle balcony of the four-story brick warehouse in the left field corner.
After Tatis singled with one out in the fifth, Machado homered into the home run porch in right, his 15th. Machado has three multi-homer games this season and 36 in his career. He has five career homers off Scherzer.
“You want to attack off of someone like that. If he gets in a groove, it's going to be tough,” Machado said.
“I'm trying to just drive in one run and get on the board as quickly as possible to give Joe that lead. You get two good swings and you put some runs on against a guy like that, it's always a bonus.”
Machado's first homer came on a hanging slider.
“I’ve got to be better than that,’’ Scherzer said. “I had a chance to get out of the inning and I didn’t. I’m executing the slider at times and it is good and at times it is bad. That’s the worst thing you can have, an inconsistent pitch. I’m leaving it in the middle part of the plate at the wrong time.’’
Scherzer, who had six wins in his previous 10 starts, allowed five runs and six hits in five innings, struck out seven and walked three.
Musgrove (8-2) was facing the Mets for the first time since earning the win in the decisive Game 3 of a wild-card series on Oct. 9 with seven shutout innings of one-hit ball at New York. That was the game Mets manager Buck Showalter asked the umpires to check Musgrove's ears for a foreign substance. Nothing was found.
The big-right hander blanked the Mets on three hits while striking out seven and walking none. He hit a career-high four batters, including two straight in the fourth to load the bases with one out. He got out of the jam with consecutive strikeouts. He was also backed by three double plays. The Padres had three double plays overall.
“It feels good taking two of three from them, especially going up against Scherzer today; tough competition, really good pitcher with a lot of accolades," Musgrove said. “Manny getting us started with a three-run lead early there really set the tone for us and allowed me to go out and be really aggressive.”
He called it “a very sloppy outing but ultimately the idea is to go out and put up zeroes.”
Musgrove has seven wins in nine starts and hasn't lost since May 20 at the New York Yankees.
New York's Mark Canha, who replaced the injured Tommy Pham in the first, hit a two-run double off Adrián Morejón in the eighth.
Mets: LF Pham left with right groin soreness after fielding Kim's leadoff hit.
Mets: RHP Justin Verlander (3-4, 3.60 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.87) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a four-game series at Philadelphia, which will counter with LHP Cristopher Sánchez (0-2, 2.84).