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Apr 9, 2024 8:57 am

Padres ride momentum of 8-run rally in rematch vs. Cubs

San Diego Padres

On Monday night, the Chicago Cubs’ win probability rested at 99 percent when they led the San Diego Padres by eight runs entering the bottom of the sixth inning.

But San Diego signed up for all 27 outs, so it continued to play on. The Padres scored seven runs in the sixth and Fernando Tatis Jr. drilled a two-run homer in the eighth in a 9-8 win.

The Cubs will try to bounce back from a tough loss when they visit Petco Park again on Tuesday night for the middle contest of a three-game series.

On Monday, Chicago manager Craig Counsell tried to get another inning out of Javier Assad, who entered the sixth with a two-hitter. But after Tatis walked and Jake Cronenworth crushed a two-run homer, Counsell pulled Assad. From there, the bullpen imploded, allowing seven runs after Assad’s exit.

“Javy did a nice job,” Counsell said. “We got him a big lead and we were hoping to get a couple of outs in the sixth. Then we just couldn’t stop them. They were just super-aggressive, hit three first pitches in a row. We might have thrown 12 to 13 pitches to five hitters.”

Chicago rookie Ben Brown (0-0, 11.12 ERA) is expected to make his first career start in the majors on Tuesday.

The hard-throwing right-hander has worked 5 2/3 innings in two games. After getting roughed up in his MLB debut on March 30 at Texas, Brown pitched four innings of relief Wednesday night against Colorado, allowing one run and striking out five. He left in line for the win but the bullpen coughed up an 8-2 lead in an eventual 9-8 triumph.

Meanwhile, the Padres will trot out Joe Musgrove (1-1, 6.28). He allowed one run and struck out seven in six innings of a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday.

What’s more, Musgrove has a track record of success against the Cubs. He is 4-3 with a 2.05 ERA in nine career starts. He has allowed only 35 hits with 57 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings, however Dansby Swanson is 4 for 11 with two homers against him.

But San Diego might have momentum on its side after tying the biggest comeback in franchise history on Monday. It marked the first time in 50 years the Padres had erased an eight-run deficit to win and just the third time in its history it did so.

That it happened after a week in which the Padres struggled to score — they scored a total of 15 runs during their previous six games (2-4) — made it even more improbable. And it happened 20 years to the day after the team opened Petco Park with a comeback win over San Francisco.

“I’ve been around other ballparks in the big leagues,” Tatis said. “Petco Park’s design … for me, it’s one of the most beautiful experiences in the game.”

–Field Level Media

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