Juan Soto drives in pair of runs as Padres give Bob Melvin series win against former Oakland club
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Now that San Diego has a series victory against Bob Melvin’s old Oakland club, the manager hopes his Padres can finally pull off their first four-game winning streak of the season.
They’re the only team in baseball without one in 2023.
“It would be the first time we did that, so hopefully that’s the case tomorrow,” Melvin said. “We’re going to be down some guys obviously in the bullpen but it would be nice to get that monkey off our back.”
Juan Soto hit a sacrifice fly and drew a bases-loaded walk, Matt Waldron struck out five pitching into the sixth for his first major league victory, and San Diego secured a series win for Melvin by beating the Athletics 5-2 on Saturday.
Melvin is leaning toward letting Soto play all 162 games, though might work him in as designated hitter as needed even if that’s not the slugger’s first choice.
“At this point when you’ve played that many games and you bring it out there like he does and runs down the line hard, if he wants to do that, probably OK with that,” Melvin said.
Soto put the Padres on the board in the first on the sacrifice fly and Xander Bogaerts hit an RBI single one batter later to stake San Diego to a quick lead in support of Waldron (1-3).
There was some relief for Waldron having finally notched that first win.
“It feels pretty special,” he said. “I do wish it happened sooner but that’s my fault. I wish I executed a little earlier. It feels great. I feel a little more a part of it. I feel like I contributed and that’s what feels good.”
After two more walks that inning loaded the bases, A’s rookie right-hander Mason Miller (0-3) struck out Matthew Batten to avoid further damage. Miller opened for Luis Medina, who struck out seven but walked four over 3 2/3 innings.
San Diego scored a pair of two-out runs in the fifth when A’s first baseman Ryan Noda bungled a hard one-hop RBI single by Brett Sullivan that ricocheted off the A’s fielder before he scooped up the ball and wildly threw it into the A’s dugout for an error. Two errors were initially ruled on the play before Sullivan was credited with a base hit.
Fernando Tatis Jr., who on Friday became the first Padres player ever with multiple seasons with 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases, doubled and scored a run.
Josh Hader pitched the ninth for his 29th save.
Zack Gelof homered in the sixth for Oakland.
The A’s matched last year’s loss total of 102 and have back-to-back 100-loss campaigns for the first time since 1964-65.
Their 204 defeats the past two years are also the most in consecutive seasons since 208 during that ’64-65 stretch.
Right-hander Joe Boyle was around the A’s clubhouse and has joined the team — and will be promoted to the major league roster Sunday to make his big league debut as opener. Boyle has pitched at Triple-A Las Vegas and Double-A Midland since being acquired by Oakland from Cincinnati on July 31 in the trade that sent Sam Moll to the Reds.
The 24-year-old Boyle is 8-8 with a 3.84 ERA over 25 total starts including the Reds’ Double-A Chattanooga affiliate — making three starts each for Las Vegas and Midland.
Padres: 2B Ha-Seong Kim was back in the lineup after turning his ankle following a sixth-inning steal of second on Friday night. … 1B Ji-Man Choi made his first appearance since coming off the 10-day injured list Friday from a left ribcage strain that sidelined him for 29 games spanning a month.
San Diego announced postgame it had changed starters from Pedro Avila to RHP Nick Martinez (5-4, 3.84) for Sunday afternoon’s finale. The A’s didn’t say whether Boyle would open for previously scheduled starter LHP Ken Waldichuk (3-7, 5.14), who has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven outings dating to Aug. 8.
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