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MLB Padres, Tigers face off in series’ rubber match

The San Diego Padres squeezed out a victory on Tuesday to end a two-game slide. They’ll look to win their three-game road series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.

After getting thrashed 12-4 in the series opener on Monday, the Padres gave away a three-run lead in the middle game of the series. They rebounded to score three runs in the 10th inning and hung on for a 6-4 victory.

San Diego’s Jorge Alfaro and Luke Voit had three RBIs apiece. Alfaro drove in two runs in the 10th after closer Taylor Rogers gave up a ninth-inning lead.

“We were one pitch away quite a few times in the (ninth) inning,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Seems like it’s hard for us to get a win right now. But it’s even more rewarding when you come back and put together an offensive inning like we did to put it away.”

The Tigers are hopeful that Tarik Skubal (7-8, 3.88 ERA), their starter in the series finale, can build off his first outing after the All-Star break. In a six-inning stint at Oakland on Thursday, Skubal allowed only an unearned run and two hits while striking out nine.

“That’s classic Skubal,” Tigers catcher Eric Haase said afterward. “Throwing three different pitches for strikes, just absolutely dominating counts. Getting ahead of guys, getting guys uncomfortable. When he’s pitching his best, that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Skubal, who will be facing the Padres for the first time, had given up three or more runs in seven of his previous eight starts. He felt his slider against the Athletics had more bite to it.

“I was able to get it back to the movement I like and I think that’s why my results have been a little bit different,” he said.

He will be matched up against a tough opponent on Wednesday, Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.28 ERA). In five of his past eight starts, Darvish has allowed one or no runs. He’s been a workhorse by current standards, going six or more innings in 16 of his 18 starts.

Darvish was dominant against the New York Mets in his first outing after the break, holding them to one run and four hits in seven innings on Friday. He walked one and struck out nine.

“It’s seven innings every time out, it feels like,” Melvin said. “It’s All-Star-quality stuff, so it doesn’t surprise us. We seem to get spoiled by him every time out.”

Darvish will be facing the Tigers for the first time as a member of the Padres, but he has tantalized them during his career. He has won all seven of his starts against Detroit while posting a 3.47 ERA.

Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who has never faced Darvish, has gotten hot this week. He hit his third homer in two games on Tuesday and also knocked in an extra-inning run.

Rookie Riley Greene contributed the tying base hit with two outs against Rogers.

“It’s another sign of maturity and success,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Greene. “Obviously he’s a very good player and that’s a big moment for him.”

Hinch is encouraged that his team has shown signs of life after getting outscored 22-5 in the three games before facing the Padres.

“We’re down three with how the offense has been the last three or four months, it’s really easy to lay down,” he said. “Our guys hung in there and gave it a run.”

–Field Level Media

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