DETROIT (AP)San Diego Padres left-hander MacKenzie Gore exited a game against the Detroit Tigers on Monday night with a sore elbow.

Gore, a 23-year-old recently shifted to the bullpen, relieved starter Sean Manaea during the fourth inning of a 12-4 defeat. He threw 35 pitches and got four outs before walking off the field with a trainer.

San Diego manager Bob Melvin said Gore will remain with the team for the last two days of the Tigers series, then fly home to be examined by Padres doctors.

Gore averaged 92.7 mph on his fastball against the Tigers, down more than 2 mph from his season average. He was charged with two runs, both on a homer by Jeimer Candelario.

”His (velocity) was down some, and it hasn’t been great for a while,” Melvin said. ”It went down to 90, but then came back up to 92. I saw him flexing his fist, the move you make when your elbow is hurting, so we did the proper thing to get him out of here.”

A first-round draft pick in 2017, Gore had ranked among the game’s top pitching prospects since but didn’t debut in the majors until this season. He was exceptional early in the season, going 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his first nine games, including eight starts.

This was his second straight outing out of the bullpen after San Diego transitioned from a six-man rotation to a five-man staff. Gore’s 70 innings pitched this season are already 19 2/3 more than he threw in 2021, and he was on pace to far exceed his career high in the minors of 101 innings.

”Over the course of the season, you’ll have some aches and pains, days where nothing feels great, but we’ve given him some extended time off,” Melvin said. ”He’s had some breaks, we put him in the bullpen and we limited his pitches.

”So when this popped up today, we felt like we needed to get him out of there.”

It was a tough night for San Diego’s pitchers overall, with Manaea pummeled for a career-worst nine runs in 3 1/3 innings.

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