SAN DIEGO – There were no flashy grand slams for the San Diego Padres, just a gritty, grind-em-out effort from the bullpen after Garrett Richards lasted only two innings.
Javy Guerra took over after Richards departed and Manny Machado hit a pair of RBI singles for the Padres, who beat Houston 4-3 Friday night to snap the Astros’ eight-game win streak.
There certainly was stress when rookie manager Jayce Tingler had to turn early to his depleted bullpen, which has been shaky in recent games.
“I feel like I’m aging in dog years, but it’s fun. It’s a blast," Tingler said.
The result was the first career win for Guerra and Emilio Pagán's first save with the Padres. Guerra struck out three in 2 1/3 hitless innings, and Pagán worked around a walk in the ninth.
“Man, you have no idea, It feels pretty good," said Pagán, who had blown his first four save chances with San Diego. “It hasn't gone the way I wanted to so far, but I'm closer each and every outing to being the pitcher that I know I'm capable of being. Luckily for me the lineup has really been slinging it pretty much all season, giving us bullpen guys the time and chance to get going in the right direction and hopefully we can continue this going forward.”
The Padres won their fifth straight but failed to add on to their MLB record of hitting a grand slam in four straight games, which they accomplished in sweeping the Texas Rangers in a four-game, home-and-home series. Eric Hosmer, who had the historic fourth slam on Thursday night, batted with the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth against the Astros and grounded out.
Machado had the third slam in the streak, a game-ending shot in the 10th inning for a 6-3 win Wednesday night.
Machado singled home Hosmer in the first and singled in Trent Grisham in the two-run fifth, both off Lance McCullers Jr. (2-2). Hosmer and Grisham were both aboard on doubles.
Machado scored from first on rookie Jake Cronenworth’s double in the fifth for a 4-1 lead. Cronenworth scored on Jurickson Profar's sacrifice fly in the fourth.
“We’ve got a group of men that are acting like they’re teenage boys and best friends in a neighborhood and just playing baseball," Tingler said. "Today we just drew it up in the dirt. In a way, that kind of fits the DNA of who we are.”
The Astros closed the gap against San Diego’s bullpen. Taylor Jones and Myles Straw hit consecutive doubles off Craig Stammen in the sixth, and Kyle Tucker hit an RBI single with two out in the seventh off Cal Quantrill.
Richards last just two innings after throwing 64 pitches, but he managed to get out of a bases-loaded jam in each inning relatively unscathed.
Richards allowed hits to the first three batters he faced, including an RBI single by Carlos Correa. He got two outs and then walked Tucker to load the bases before striking out Taylor Jones to end the first.
Richards loaded the bases in the second with a single and two walks with one out before striking out Correa and Josh Reddick.
McCullers gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Padres: Placed LHP Drew Pomeranz on the 10-day injured list with a strained left shoulder, retroactive to Wednesday. To take his spot, RHP Luis Perdomo was recalled from the alternate training site. Pomeranz’s injury is the latest for a bullpen that had been projected as the team’s major strength. Among several injured relievers is closer Kirby Yates, out with an inflamed right elbow. Yates had an MLB-high 41 saves last year.
Astros: RHP Brandon Bielak (3-0, 1.69 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday night.
Padres: RHP Zach Davies (3-2, 3.25 ERA) is set to go for the Padres.
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