Gary Sanchez hit a grand slam in a five-run first inning and Manny Machado added a two-run double in the second against struggling Jack Flaherty to help the San Diego Padres beat the AL-leading Baltimore Orioles 10-3 on Tuesday night.
The offensive breakout made a winner of Michael Wacha (9-2) in his first start since July 1. He’s been on the injured list because of inflammation in his right shoulder. The Padres snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in nine games.
Austin Hays homered in the ninth for the Orioles, whose three-game winning streak ended. It was his 11th.
Sanchez’s fifth career slam came three pitches after Flaherty (8-8) issued a third straight walk, to Jake Cronenworth to force in the inning’s first run. Sanchez then connected into the whiskey deck atop the wall in right center for the Padres’ first grand slam of the season. It was Sanchez’s 16th homer this season, all since he was picked up off waivers from the New York Mets on May 29.
Told that the Padres’ last grand slam was by Cronenworth almost a year ago, Sanchez said through an interpreter: “Well, let’s hope we have a lot more on the way.
“It was overall a team effort,” Sanchez added. “Obviously, the rest of my teammates, they had great at-bats, didn’t chase anything outside of the strike zone. Nobody chased. We just were disciplined. Were able to take those at-bats one at a time, and I was fortunate to just come in with the bases loaded and have my base hit.”
Manager Bob Melvin said the Padres “made a really good pitcher work, for two innings, really, on 70 some pitches. Made him work to where Gary’s up there just trying to get a good pitch to hit, not trying to do too much, a lot of stuff’s away to the righties. Someone talked to me today about the last time we had a grand slam. I’m glad they did.”
Flaherty got two quick outs in the second but then allowed a double to Fernando Tatis Jr. and walked Juan Soto before Machado, who spent his first 6 1/2 big league seasons with Baltimore, doubled to left for a 7-0 lead.
Flaherty, making his third start with the Orioles since being acquired from St. Louis, allowed seven runs on four hits and four walks on 84 pitches in three innings. It was just the second time in 23 starts this season he failed to pitch into the fourth. The seven runs were the second-most he’s allowed this year.
Wacha held the Orioles to three hits in five scoreless innings, struck out five and walked one. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with consecutive strikeouts.
“It was a long six weeks of rehab, but it’s good getting back out there and competing with this group again, for sure,” Wacha said.
“It looked like he never left. He was throwing 94, 95 at times,” Melvin said. “Good changeup. Limited pitches today and innings but he looked like he did when he left.”
The Padres made it 10-0 in the fifth when Garrett Cooper hit an RBI double and Ben Gamel followed with a two-run double for his first big league hit since Oct. 4 with Pittsburgh.
Catcher James McCann pitched the eighth for the Orioles and allowed two hits but no runs.
Padres: Optioned LHP Ray Kerr to Triple-A El Paso to make room for Wacha on the active roster.
Orioles: OF Aaron Hicks wasn’t in the lineup after experiencing back soreness Monday night in his first game back from a stint on the injured list. Manager Brandon Hyde said Hicks would be available off the bench.