MEXICO CITY – After a game that felt like a home run derby, Matt Carpenter expected Sunday could be more of the same. It was not.
Carpenter capped an eighth-inning rally with a tiebreaking, two-run double off the glove of diving centerfielder Mike Yastrzemski, and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 for a two-game sweep of Major League Baseball’s first regular-season series in Mexico City.
A day after winning an 11-home run thriller 16-11, the Padres overcame a 4-0 deficit with three runs in the fifth and three in the eighth.
“After last night´s game you go to bed thinking that this one was going to be similar and it had a different feeling and we kind of have to play it a more traditional ballgame,” Carpenter said.
In the thin air of Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú, 7,349 feet above sea level, the first inning turned into another power display when LaMonte Wade Jr. led off with a home run off Yu Darvish.
Then the game settled down and the crowd, a majority supporting the Padres, went home happy.
“We were really looking forward to the series, we knew it would be really exciting and Mexico City didn’t let us down. The atmosphere was great,” Carpenter said.
Darvish allowed three homers after not giving up any in his first four starts. He allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings with nine strikeouts.
“The home run at the first at-bat really surprised me, but I got some advice from pitching coach Ruben Niebla and I could settle down for a good outing,” Darvish said through a translator. “Under these conditions you realize that there are some pitches that don´t move like you want, and my job was to find the ones that do work.”
San Diego headed home with a 15-14 record after going 6-3 on an 11-day trip.
“I´m not sitting here thinking about the record, but once we get home, being over .500 is significant,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.
J.D. Davis went deep in the second and Mitch Haniger homered in a two-run third that included an RBI single by Yastrzemski, who is headed to the injured list.
Before a crowd of 19,633, Austin Nola‘s two-run homer and Juan Soto‘s RBI single against Alex Cobb cut the deficit to 4-3 in the in the fifth.
Tyler Rogers (0-2), who allowed Manny Machado‘s go-ahead, two-run homer a day earlier, couldn’t hold the lead and lost for the second straight day.
Juan Soto worked out an eight-pitch walk with one out in the eighth and Xander Bogaerts singled. Camilo Doval relieved, and Jake Cronenworth linked a tying single to right.
Nelson Cruz struck out and Carpenter fouled off three straight pitches before lofting Doval’s fourth straight 100 mph-plus offering into short center. Yastrzemski sprinted in and dived but the ball popped out of his glove as Bogaerts and Cronenworth scored.
Yastrzemski limped off the field, accompanied by manager Gabe Kapler and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner. Yastrzemski strained his left hamstring and likely will go on the injured list, Kapler said.
Luis García (1-2) pitched two hitless innings, and Josh Hader got three straight groundouts to remain perfect in 10 save chances, completing a game that took 2 hours, 52 minutes, down from Saturday’s 3:44.
TROUBLE WITH THE HUMIDOR
The humidor for storing baseballs was at sea level settings and not for an altitude like Mexico City’s. “For several weeks they had a malfunction related to the water levels” Kapler said. “To my understanding it´s not something that you can just flip a switch on and fix. It’s an unforeseen challenge, one that you got to work together to get through the day.”
The teams reverted to regular uniforms Sunday, the Padres in home white pinstripes, the Giants in gray, a day after wearing special outfits for the series opener.
Cruz hit a drive off the wall in right-center in the second, at 42 years, 303 days becoming the oldest player to triple since Ichiro Suzuki at 42 years, 327 days on Sept. 13, 2016.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford (right calf) didn’t play after exiting Saturday in the fourth inning. Kapler said Crawford was feeling better.
Padres: LHP Blake Snell (0-4, 5.48 ERA) is set to start Monday against Cincinnati, which sends RHP Luke Weaver (0-1, 7.71) to the mound.
Giants: RHP Ross Stripling (0-1, 6.89) starts Monday’s series opener at defending champion Houston, which starts RHP Luis Garcia (2-2, 4.00).