Clevinger impressive, Padres edge Guardians 5-4 in DH opener

Mike Clevinger had an impressive first start since undergoing elbow surgery in 2020, and Manny Machado hit a two-run home as the San Diego Padres beat the Cleveland Guardians 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader

ByTOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
May 04, 2022, 5:08 PM
Mike Clevinger
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Mike Clevinger celebrates after striking out Cleveland Guardians' Owen Miller during the third inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
The Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Mike Clevinger had an impressive first start since undergoing elbow surgery in 2020, and Manny Machado hit a two-run homer as the San Diego Padres edged the Cleveland Guardians 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday.

Machado connected in the third inning off Zach Plesac (1-3), and Austin Nola delivered a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth as the Padres won for the sixth time in seven games — all on the road.

San Diego reliever Steven Wilson (3-0) got the win despite walking two in the fifth, and Taylor Rodgers pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

Padres rookie MacKenzie Gore will start Game 2 against Cleveland’s Cal Quantrill.

It was a solid return for Clevinger, who had Tommy John surgery not long after pitching in Game 1 of the NLDS two years ago. Facing his former team and Plesac, one of his closest friends, the right-hander allowed three runs and four hits.

Clevinger was just an out away from potentially getting a win before being pulled after 95 pitches by manager Bob Melvin.

Clevinger, who spent four-plus seasons with Cleveland before being traded in 2020, was leading 3-1 when he walked Myles Straw with one out in the fifth. He put on José Ramírez with two down before being replaced by Wilson, who gave up a walk and Josh Naylor's tying two-run single.

The Padres, though, came right back and scored two in the sixth on Nola's double off Enyel De Los Santos and Jake Cronenworth's sacrifice fly.

Clevinger's return was bumped back a day after Tuesday's series opener was postponed by rain and a wet forecast.

The weather conditions were hardly San Diego-like when Clevinger, nicknamed “Sunshine,” finally took the mound as low-hanging clouds enwrapped Progressive Field during the early innings.

Machado's fifth home run put Clevinger and the Padres up 3-0 in third.

An error by Naylor at first allowed Cronenworth to reach with one out before Machado, who batted .386 in April, drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center.

Eric Hosmer, who came in leading the majors with a .382 average, gave the Padres a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.

BAKER'S DOZENS AND DOZENS

Dusty Baker's 2,000th career win prompted a wide smile and praise from Guardians manager Terry Francona.

“I'm happy for Dusty,” said Francona, who entered the day with 1,792 wins. “I think it's really cool when good things happen to good people — and he certainly qualifies on both accounts.”

Baker became the first Black manager to reach the milestone on Tuesday night when Houston Astros beat Seattle 4-0. He's the 12th manager to reach 2,000, a mark that cements his eventual enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: 1B Luke Voit (biceps tightness) went 0 for 2 with a walk, run and strikeout in the first game of a rehab assignment at Triple-A El Paso on Tuesday. Voit could be activated from the injured list when San Diego gets home.

Guardians: INF Yu Chang continues to recover in the minors after being placed on the COVID list last month. Chang's rehab was transferred to Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Padres: Return to San Diego for weekend series against Miami. Nick Martinez (1-2) starts Thursday's opener against Marlins RHP Jesús Luzardo (2-1).

Guardians: Open a four-game home series against Toronto on Thursday with Aaron Civale (0-2) facing Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (2-0).

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