Jake Cronenworth's grand slam lifts the Padres to a 6-2 win against the Reds

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jake Cronenworth hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning and Jurickson Profar had four hits for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 Wednesday to take two of three in the series.

Cronenworth hit his third career grand slam and the second for the Padres this season. It came after Tyler Wade opened the inning with a bunt single over the head of reliever Fernando Cruz (1-2), followed by Profar's single and Fernando Tatis Jr.'s walk. Cronenworth connected to right on the first pitch he saw from Cruz.

Profar, re-signed in the offseason to a $1 million, one-year contract, extended his hitting streak to eight games. He had a two-run single in the fourth.

The Padres got six strong innings in a bounce-back performance from Joe Musgrove and ended a six-game homestand with two victories. They were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies and then lost the opener of this series to extend their season-high losing streak to five games.

“It's huge, after a rough series to start the homestand and come back and beat a really good team in Cincinnati,” Cronenworth said.

He homered on a 94 mph four-seamer.

“Fastball in, trying to take a good swing and drive it to the middle of the field," he said.

Until Cronenworth's slam, the biggest moment of the game was when Reds center fielder Stuart Fairchild made a sensational leaping catch to rob Manny Machado of a three-run homer.

After Spencer Steer homered off Musgrove with two outs in the first, it looked as if the Padres would surge ahead on Machado's drive to right-center off Graham Ashcraft. But Fairchild tracked down the ball, leaped to make the catch and slammed into the low fence, with his cap flying off. He regained his balance and threw the ball in to hold the runners at second and first. Ashcraft turned and raised his right index finger toward Fairchild as some Padres looked on in disbelief from the dugout.

The catch was reminiscent of the one San Diego native Adam Jones made to rob Machado of a home run in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park. Then teammates with the Baltimore Orioles, Jones was playing for the United States and Machado was playing for the Dominican Republic.

Cronenworth's slam made a winner of Enyel De Los Santos (1-1).

Steer's homer was his fourth. Musgrove has allowed 10 homers, tied with teammate Michael King for the most in the majors. The native of suburban El Cajon gave up a career-high four homers in his previous start, a 9-3 loss to Philadelphia on Friday night.

San Diego took the lead on Profar's two-run single to left with two outs in the third. The runs were unearned because of an error by first baseman Jeimer Candelario, who dropped the throw from second baseman Jonathan India on Jackson Merrill's grounder.

It took the Reds just two batters to tie the game at 2. Santiago Espinal doubled to left leading off the fifth and scored on Candelario's single to right.

Both starters went six innings. Musgrove allowed two runs and four hits while striking out nine and walking none. Ashcraft allowed two unearned runs and five hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.

“It felt good to have my normal stuff back,” Musgrove said. “I put a lot of work in this week. Maybe too much at times, but I felt good. I felt like I saw some of the things that we were hoping to see out there. My delivery felt good.

“The homer in the first inning had the feeling of it turning into another one of those outings, but my stuff felt good.”

Musgrove threw 87 pitches. He finished his outing with a perfect sixth, striking out his final two batters.

“If I can get through six and finish the way that I did, and not take a chance of running me back out there and having to pull me in the middle of the inning, I think that was probably the right move for me with where I'm at right now,” Musgrove said. “I feel like I was leaving on a strong note and I'll just keep building on it.”

Said manager Mike Shildt: “It looked like Joe — controlling counts, a lot of sharpness to his pitches, velo up a tick. I liked what he was doing.”

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (1-2, 3.63 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a home three-game series against Baltimore.

Padres: RHP Dylan Cease (3-2, 2.78) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Arizona. The Diamondbacks will go with RHP Zac Gallen (3-2, 3.38).

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb