SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joe Musgrove pitched six strong innings on the night his boyhood hero, Jake Peavy, was inducted into the Padres’ Hall of Fame, Fernando Tatis Jr. homered and San Diego beat the AL West-leading Texas Rangers 7-1 on Friday night.
Musgrove (10-3) was facing the Rangers for the first time since throwing the first no-hitter in Padres history, in just his second start with his hometown team, on April 9, 2021, at Texas. Musgrove won for the ninth time in 10 decisions by holding Texas to four hits while striking out five and walking two.
Musgrove grew up a Padres fan in suburban El Cajon and idolized Peavy, who won the 2007 NL Cy Young Award. Musgrove began wearing Peavy’s No. 44 after he was traded to the Padres before the 2021 season.
The Rangers, managed by former Padres skipper Bruce Bochy, lost for the fifth time in seven games but kept a two-game lead over Houston.
“I was excited, man,” Musgrove said. “A lot of adrenaline. Obviously Peavy’s night … throwing in front of Boch for the first time in my career. A lot of San Diego legends in the house. I was really motivated and excited about this outing. I was honored to be able to throw on this night.”
The Rangers added a bit of drama when they loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth and Luis Garcia walked Marcus Semien. Garcia then struck out former Padres player Travis Jankowski to end it.
Tatis homered to right-center off Dane Dunning (8-4) with one out in the fifth, his 18th, to give the Padres a 3-0 lead. He added an RBI single during the four-run sixth.
The Padres, who have underwhelmed despite having baseball’s third-highest payroll, also got RBIs from two of their other stars, Juan Soto and Manny Machado. Soto hit an RBI single in the first and Machado had a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run single in the sixth. Gary Sanchez added an RBI double in the sixth.
It was one of the top wins of the season for the Padres, who had World Series aspirations coming into this season but have been mired in fourth place in the NL West and well back in the wild-card race.
“Everyone’s starting to realize where we’re at in the season and the sense of urgency we’ve got to have,” said Musgrove, who helped lead the Padres to the NL Championship Series last year. “The attitude and the mentality and the aggressiveness tonight on the basepaths, at the plate, really good defense all around, that’s the kind of baseball we’ve got to play down the stretch.
“Like I told the guys after the game, we’ve two months left here to determine our future here for the rest of the season. If we’re going to go out, we’ve got to go out on our terms playing baseball the way that we play the game.”
The Padres were coming off a dismal series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are last in the NL Central, before getting a strong outing from Musgrove.
“He’s really good, he’s really tough,” Bochy said. “He’s having another good year and you have your hands full with him. He pitched a really nice ballgame for them. They pitched well today, they got the hits, we didn’t.”
Machado made a sensational play at third to end the seventh when he dove to his left to snag Leody Taveras’ grounder and threw him out while on his backside. First baseman Jake Cronenworth held onto the throw and then fell over.
“Throw my glove out there, caught it. I know the guy was fast so I was just trying to get it over there as quick as possible,” Machado said.
HALL OF FAME
Peavy was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame along with former owner John Moores during a pregame ceremony. It was under Moores’ ownership that the Padres built Petco Park in downtown San Diego.
Wyatt Langford, the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, made his professional debut Friday night with the ACL Rangers in a game at the ACL Mariners in Peoria, Arizona. He started in left and batted third. Others making their debuts in that game were 1B Anthony Calarco (undrafted free agent), 2B Devin Hurdle (undrafted free agent) and RF Quincy Scott (ninth round).
Rangers: Placed All-Star C Jonah Heim on the 10-day injured list with a strained tendon in his left wrist. He came out of a game at Houston on Wednesday after hurting his wrist on an awkward swing in the fourth inning. Mitch Garver started Friday night.
Padres: With a 7-0 lead, Soto was removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He’s been bothered by a finger injury since spring training and the Padres were awaiting results of an MRI. Manager Bob Melvin said he thinks Soto’s finger is getter better but he stung it a few times. Second baseman Ha Seong-Kim also came out after tweaking his back on a slide. Melvin said there’s a good chance Soto and Kim will be in the lineup Saturday night.
Texas LHP Martin Perez (8-3, 4.91 ERA) and Padres RHP Yu Darvish (7-7, 4.80) are scheduled to start Saturday night.
For more local and national news, visit KPYN.net.