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Jun 6, 2024 7:43 am

With Manny Machado in question, Padres open set vs. D-backs

San Diego Padres

After playing Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at the Los Angeles Angels almost as though it were a self-fulfilling prophecy, the San Diego Padres start a seven-game homestand Thursday with the first contest of a four-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

San Diego limped home with injury added to the insult of being swept by a last-place team for the second time inside a month. Third baseman Manny Machado (mild right hip flexor strain) left in the fourth inning Wednesday night after beating out a potential double-play ball.

His status for Thursday night’s series opener isn’t known but he knows what happens to teams that consistently come up short when given chances to pad their record against lesser foes.

“These games are probably going to come and haunt us,” Machado said.

Making the sweep at the Angels’ hands even more perplexing was that San Diego entered the series 19-11 on the road, while Los Angeles was 7-21 in its home yard and hadn’t won a series there all season.

A lack of punch has punished the Padres during a four-game losing streak that’s dropped them back under .500. They have managed only eight runs in the skid, wasting some good starting pitching.

Right-hander Randy Vasquez (1-3, 5.74 ERA) will try to play the stopper’s role in the series opener. The former New York Yankee is coming off a 7-3 win on Saturday in Kansas City as he made a start in place of the injured Joe Musgrove.

Vasquez lasted five innings, permitting three runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts in an 81-pitch effort. In his only previous outing against Arizona, he allowed two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief last year in a no-decision.

Much like San Diego, the Diamondbacks are still searching for their best form. They were routed 9-3 Wednesday at home by the San Francisco Giants, preventing them from attaining a series sweep. A year after a surprise National League title, they are 29-33.

And like the Padres, Arizona will turn to a young right-hander in hopes of starting the series strong. Slade Cecconi (1-4, 5.59) last pitched in a 10-5 win on Saturday at the New York Mets, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing one run off five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Cecconi will make his third career appearance against San Diego. He’s 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in the first two, absorbing a 7-1 home loss on May 3 after permitting six runs on five hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four.

Wednesday’s result snapped a four-game winning streak for Arizona, which averaged nearly seven runs per game in that span. While the loss stung, the Diamondbacks appear to be close to regaining a key piece to their roster.

Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo (torn meniscus) started a rehab assignment for Triple-A Reno Wednesday night in Tacoma. Manager Torey Lovullo said it was likely, barring setbacks, that Perdomo could return next week during a homestand.

“We’ll continue pushing it downfield and get him here as soon as possible,” Lovullo said.

Perdomo has been idle since April 4.

–Field Level Media

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