Clevinger 1-hit ball for 6 innings, Padres beat Diamondbacks

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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PHOENIX — Mike Clevinger outpitched Madison Bumgarner by throwing one-hit ball for six innings in his longest outing of the year, leading the San Diego Padres over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Wednesday.

Jake Cronenworth broke out of a 0-for-26 skid with two doubles and a single, driving in two runs and scoring once.

Clevinger (2-0) struck out six and walked one.

It was the second time in less than a week that Clevinger faced the Diamondbacks, again baffling them with his unorthodox delivery. In his previous outing, he went four innings and allowed one run and four hits.

Asked if it was harder to face a team in back-to back starts, Clevinger said, “I’d venture that it’s the opposite.”

“If you go about it the right way, it’s an advantage. You get to see the holes in their swings, you get to see how you attacked them the first time, and then readjust and get to see them right then and there,” he said.

“Sometimes throughout the seasons hitters’ tendencies will change from week to week. When you’re seeing them this close together, I can know what they’re trying to do against me and change my attack plan a bit,” he said.

Clevinger, who has been coming back from Tommy John surgery, had been working with limited pitch and inning counts prior to this game.

This was the first time since returning June 5 that he went past the fifth inning.

“Clevinger today looked like vintage Clevinger,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.

“He’s got a couple of consecutive starts under his belt, it’s just pitching for him now. Six innings, 90 pitches was what we were looking for from him today, and he did exactly that. Now we just treat him like another pitcher,” he said.

Nick Martinez threw three innings in relief to complete the shutout. He gave up two hits and got his second save.

Bumgarner (3-8) allowed one run and four hits in five innings.

In the fifth, Jurickson Profar walked with two outs and Austin Nola singled, setting up Cronenworth’s RBI single.

C.J. Abrams hit an RBI single in the sixth against reliever Kyle Nelson, a run helped by two walks and an errant pickoff throw.

Cronenworth doubled in the seventh and scored on a single by Luke Voit. Cronenworth doubled off the center field walk in the ninth to score Profar. Batting leadoff, Profar drew three walks and scored twice.

Cronenworth said he was not too worried about his slump prior to this game.

“I knew I was going to do it” he said. “I was still having good at-bats, getting on base, just like previously, making hard outs. I was hoping they’d fall at some point and they did today”

The Diamondbacks had a chance to get back in the game in the eighth when they had runners on second and third with two out, but rookie Alek Thomas grounded out.

“Things were set up nicely. But he made pitches and we didn’t we didn’t get the results,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: 3B Manny Machado (sprained left ankle) ran the bases prior to the game for the second day in a row, giving the trainer a thumbs-up afterwards. Machado has not played since injuring the ankle on June 19, but has avoided his first IL stint since 2014.

Diamondbacks: RHP Zach Davies (right shoulder inflammation) said there was no timetable yet for when he might resume throwing and that it’s likely there would be more imaging prior to beginning a throwing program.

UP NEXT

Arizona will have an off day before facing the Rockies at Coors Field on Friday. RHP Merrill Kelly (6-5, 3.64 ERA) gets the start for the D-backs.

San Diego heads to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers on Thursday. RHP Joe Musgrove (8-1, 2.12 ERA) starts for the Padres.

Cards’ Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd – he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.