Jake Cronenworth hit a walk-off home run with one out in the ninth inning as the San Diego Padres won the rubber match of their three-game series with the visiting Houston Astros 4-3 Sunday.
Cronenworth drove a 2-2 slider from Astros reliever Ryne Stanek (1-4) 407 feet into the seats in right field for his 20th home run. The Astros (79-57) dropped the finale of their nine-game road trip by failing to convert in the top of the ninth despite drawing three walks off Mark Melancon (4-2).
Astros rookie right-hander Luis Garcia labored through a 23-pitch first inning and was on the brink of escaping with just one run on his ledger before Eric Hosmer delivered.
After surrendering singles to Trent Grisham and Manny Machado, Garcia walked Cronenworth to load the bases with one out. Wil Myers knotted the game at 1 with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Grisham. Hosmer then drove a curveball to the wall in left field for a double that scored Machado and Cronenworth and pushed the Padres (73-64) to a 3-1 advantage.
But Garcia allowed just three additional hits, all singles, while pitching into the sixth. He retired the Padres in order in the second and third, induced an inning-ending double play to escape a jam in the fourth and fanned two batters in the fifth before departing with one on and two outs in the sixth. Garcia tossed 80 pitches, 53 for strikes, and recorded five strikeouts against one walk.
Padres right-hander Chris Paddack was even sharper before things suddenly came undone in the seventh. Paddack had thrown just 59 pitches through six innings, allowing Houston only one run on a Cronenworth error and a bloop single in the first inning.
He retired 11 consecutive batters before allowing a leadoff single to Jose Altuve in the sixth. He escaped the frame unscathed but, in the span of three pitches to open the seventh, surrendered his 3-1 lead when Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa smacked back-to-back home runs.
–Field Level Media