SAN DIEGO (AP)Manny Machado seemed as happy to see brother-in-law Yonder Alonso as he did with hitting two home runs.
Machado, one of the hottest hitters in the majors, had two impressive homers and Nick Martinez threw seven strong innings to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory against the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
Alonso, who played with the Padres for four seasons during his big league career, made a surprise visit to the clubhouse to chat with Machado afterward. Alonso is currently an analyst with MLB Network.
”I just got surprised by that,” Machado said. ”He just showed up. I just saw him in the booth in Denver this morning. He caught a flight and came over here. That’s what family does. He’s the best. I love him.”
Both homers by the $300 million third baseman came off left-hander Jesus Luzardo. Machado homered to straightaway center field with two outs in the first inning and then hit a shot into the second deck in left field with one out in the fourth.
Machado took over the team lead with seven homers. It was his first multi-homer game of the season and 31st of his career.
”I’m playing good baseball,” Machado said. ”Continue doing that, it’s all that matters.”
Machado and Eric Hosmer have been carrying the Padres in the absence of star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is out until mid-June or later with a broken left wrist. Machado came in leading the majors with 35 hits and tied for first with 23 runs and second behind Hosmer with a .365 average.
”I think we’re playing good baseball overall,” Machado said. ”Obviously myself and Hos are preforming at a high level but I think we’re playing really good baseball overall as a group.”
San Diego’s Bob Melvin was at the ballpark but did not manage due to a non-COVID illness. He was replaced by bench coach Ryan Christenson.
Martinez (2-2) held the Marlins to one run and four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one. Taylor Rogers pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.
”He’s a freaking stud, man,” Martinez said of Machado. ”He steps to the plate and is always a plate. Talk about a guy who can do it all, he can do it all. It’s awesome to have that kind of player on your side, especially with this team and with him leading the way, you’re always in the game. That gives pitchers a lot of confidence.”
Luzardo (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked three.
After Machado’s first homer, the Marlins tied it on Jesus Aguilar’s one-out RBI single in the third. Martinez allowed consecutive singles to open the inning. After Aguilar’s single, the right-hander got Jorge Soler to ground into a double-play.
It was the 50th career homer at Petco Park for Machado, who signed with the Padres before the 2019 season. It was his ninth career multi-homer game at the downtown ballpark, the most by any player. Hunter Renfroe is next with six.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
The Padres held a moment of silence before the game for retired Associated Press photographer Lenny Ignlezi, who died Friday in Las Vegas at 74. Ignelzi spent nearly four decades producing breathtaking images of Hall of Fame sports figures, devastating wildfires and other major news in San Diego. Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman said earlier this week that although Ignelzi photographed many other sports, the Padres were his ”go-to team.”
RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-1, 2.90) of the Marlins and RHP Yu Darvish (2-1, 4.44) of the Marlins are scheduled to start Friday night in the second game of the four-game series.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports