As a brilliant orange sunset played out above the left-field corner at Petco Park, Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres said goodnight to the St. Louis Cardinals with an impressive power display.
Machado homered twice and drove in five runs and Franmil Reyes also connected twice — they went back-to-back on consecutive pitches in the seven-run second inning — to boost dominant rookie Chris Paddack to a 12-2 win Saturday night.
San Diego rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. also homered and finished a triple shy of the cycle. The Padres have 16 homers during their four-game winning streak. The Cardinals lost their fifth straight and were held to five hits by Paddack and two relievers.
Machado, the $300 million slugger, has heated up with nine homers in his last 14 games. He has 19 overall and it was his third multihomer game for the Padres.
Machado said he’s more comfortable than at the season’s start, but also credited the atmosphere surrounding the young team.
“A little bit, I guess,” Machado said. “It’s always a new start, but the group that we have here just makes everything so special every single day. We come in here with great energy. Guys want to work, want to get better. They want to learn. Having this group that we have here has been pretty awesome.”
Machado and Reyes homered on consecutive pitches from rookie Dakota Hudson (6-4) in the second, when only one of the seven runs was earned due to the right-hander’s throwing error.
Machado added a two-run shot in the fourth off Daniel Ponce de Leon off the scoreboard on the facade of the second deck in left-center.
“We got off to a slower start offensively, but we always expected Manny to be in the middle of everything for us and what he’s done over the last few weeks has been really, really impressive,” manager Andy Green said.
Reyes, who has 24 homers, had his fifth multihomer game of the year and sixth in his two-season career. Tatis hit his 11th, a 440-foot shot to center off Dominic Leone in the eighth.
Paddack (5-4) threw six brilliant innings to win for the first time in five starts dating to May 20. He allowed a leadoff home run to rookie Tommy Edman, a San Diego native, on his fourth pitch, but then allowed only a single the rest of the way. He struck out eight and walked one.
Paddack was making his second start since spending 10 days at Class A Lake Elsinore to give him a chance to rest. He pitched only 90 innings in the minors last season as he bounced back from Tommy John surgery. He made the big league club after a stellar spring.
The Padres had lost each of Paddack’s last four starts. The right-hander had two losses and two no-decisions in that span.
“It feels good to get back to myself, and prove to myself that I belong and I’m here for a reason,” said Paddack, who appreciated having a six-run lead going into the third inning.
The Padres jumped on Hudson in the second. Paddack got his first career RBI on a bases-loaded groundout. Tatis and Eric Hosmer hit RBI singles before Machado homered to center field. Reyes followed with a shot to left-center.
Hudson lasted only 1 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and seven runs — one earned.
He said he “gave a good team, a good lineup, too many outs. I was struggling to find it early and I was trying to grind through it. Just gave up a couple of weak hits and then that led to a long inning, which led to a couple mistakes, which led to a couple good swings.”
Manager Mike Shildt bemoaned the lack of offense, saying: “We’ve got to figure out a way to be better. We’ve got to score some runs and give ourselves a better chance to shake hands at the end of the game.”
Ponce de Leon struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings while allowing four runs and five hits with two walks.
“In that role I was trying to get quick outs,” he said. “I was just trying to get through them, just eat as much innings as possible so the other guys didn’t have to pitch. I was trying to just get in and out of innings.”
The Cardinals fell to 1-6 while wearing throwback powder blue uniforms for Saturday road games.
Steve Garvey, Randy Jones and Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman threw out ceremonial first pitches as the Padres celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1969 expansion season.
Cardinals: Placed OF Marcell Ozuna on the 10-day injured list with a fracture at the base of his right middle finger. He’ll return to St. Louis on Sunday to see a hand specialist. He was injured Friday night when he dived back into first as he was being picked off. … RHP John Brebbia was placed on the paternity list. … OFs Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas were recalled from Triple-A Memphis
Padres: C Francisco Mejia was hit by a pitch leading off the second and then left with a bruised right forearm after the inning. Green said X-rays were negative.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (5-8, 4.33 ERA), who pitched for the Padres in parts of 2012-13, is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (6-4, 3.95) looks for his fourth win in six starts.
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