Cronenworth hits grand slam, Padres beat Marlins 10-3

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MIAMI – Jake Cronenworth hit a grand slam in the first inning, Ha-Seong Kim also drove in four runs, and the San Diego Padres beat the Miami Marlins 10-3 on Wednesday.

Kim went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Juan Soto reached base three times and scored twice for the Padres, who avoided a three-game sweep.

All-Star Manny Machado went 2-for-4, extending his streak of multiple-hit games to eight. The Miami native finished 6-for-11 for San Diego in the three-game series. The Padres’ Josh Bell ended an 0-for-26 skid with a double in the ninth.

“We want to play better but I think today was more about getting in a good game and going home,” said Padres manager Bob Melvin, whose club finished a 3-3 trip.

Cronenworth’s two-out blast against Pablo Lopez (7-8) followed singles from Soto and Machado and a walk to Bell. It was Cronenworth’s 12th homer this season and second career grand slam.

In the Padres’ 4-3 loss Tuesday, Cronenworth went hitless twice late with runners in scoring position.

“It’s hard to pick and choose when you do,” Cronenworth said. “You just want to have the best at-bat you can. They just happened to make some really good pitches on me (Tuesday). Got a pitch I could handle today and put a good swing on it.”

The Padres capped a five-run first on Kim’s RBI double.

“It’s good to see the offense come around, especially the first inning,” Melvin said. “They had good energy, good at-bats and put up a five spot. Certainly it was good feeling going through the rest of the game.”

The Marlins cut into the deficit and ended Padres starter Mike Clevinger‘s outing after 4 1/3 innings. Jon Berti hit a run-scoring double in the first and Jacob Stallings added an RBI single in the fourth.

Brandon Drury had an RBI groundout in the fifth for San Diego. Brian Anderson‘s run-scoring double in the bottom half got the Marlins within 6-3.

After Clevinger’s exit, Adrian Morejon (2-0) threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Morejon struck out Charles Leblanc and pinch-hitter Jesus Aguilar with the bases loaded to end Miami’s threat in the fifth.

Kim had a bases-clearing double against Miami reliever Elieser Hernadez in the ninth. Hernandez also surrendered a three-run double to Machado on Tuesday.

Clevinger allowed three runs on six hits and four walks.

“I didn’t find it today,” Clevinger said. “I had good teammates behind me to pick me up. I had issues attacking the zone.”

Lopez lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs.

“As a starting pitcher, it’s my job to set a good tone for the game and I set a very bad tone for this game, and I take responsibility for that,” Lopez said.

WALKS PAY OFF

The Padres’ RBIs in the first were preceded by walks. Bell worked a full count against Lopez before reaching. Trent Grisham also walked ahead of Kim’s liner to the warning track in left that scored him from first.

“All those things end up maybe not being the sexiest thing in the box score but end up providing us better at-bats and more production after that,” Melvin said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: LHP Daniel Castano (concussion) continues to rehab but has not begun throwing yet.

UP NEXT

Padres: Return home for a four-game series against Washington starting Thursday. RHP Yu Darvish (10-6, 3.40 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener for San Diego against RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-5, 7.20).

Marlins: LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-5, 3.72) will start the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers and LHP Tyler Anderson (13-2, 2.81) on Friday.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.