MILWAUKEE (AP) — San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler considered it perhaps the best defensive play his team has made all season.
Second baseman Jake Cronenworth made a diving stop of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hard grounder, then got up and threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the 10th inning to preserve the Padres’ 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
“What can you say?” Tingler said. “Just a quadruple-plus play, from the reaction to gloving it, to heads-up, just slowing down and executing it. Just phenomenal.”
It wasn’t the only plus play in the field for the Padres, who won for the 11th time in 12 games.
“That was maybe the best defensive game we’ve played,” Tingler said.
Victor Caratini’s leadoff single to right off Brent Suter (3-3) scored automatic runner Wil Myers from second base in the top of the 10th.
Mark Melancon earned his major league-leading 17th save in as many opportunities with a big assist from Cronenworth.
The Brewers had runners at the corners in the 10th after Keston Hiura moved to third on Willy Adames’ single. After Cronenworth threw out Hiura at the plate to keep the Padres in front, Melancon struck out Daniel Robertson and retired Kolten Wong on a grounder.
Cronenworth also prevented a run in the second inning when he snared Adames’ two-out liner up the middle with Omar Narváez at second.
The Brewers put runners on first and second in the ninth against Austin Adams (1-0), but San Diego center fielder Jurickson Profar helped the Padres force extra innings by catching Travis Shaw’s sinking liner with his right knee on the grass.
“They played great defense,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They made plays and caught everything we hit.”
Called up from Triple-A Nashville to start for Milwaukee, Eric Lauer allowed one run over six innings and tied the game with a third-inning homer. San Diego’s Chris Paddack also worked six innings and gave up one hit aside from Lauer’s long ball.
Lauer was facing his former team for the first time since the Brewers acquired him and infielder Luis Urías from the Padres in a November 2019 trade that sent outfielder Trent Grisham and pitcher Zach Davies to San Diego.
Fernando Tatis Jr. had a sacrifice fly off Lauer in the first.
“After that first inning, I was able to calm down,” Lauer said. “Honestly, I think a lot of that had to do with the antsiness and excitement of facing my old team and everything. So, it was really a matter of chilling out a little bit.”
Lauer and Paddack came up together in the Padres system. Paddack said he texted Lauer about the homer and joked that they couldn’t be throwing partners anymore.
“It will be kind of a cool story we’ll be able to tell,” Paddack said. “I tip my hat to him. He got me.”
Padres 3B Manny Machado fouled out as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning. He had missed the previous five games with right shoulder tightness.
The Brewers designated veteran right-hander Josh Lindblom for assignment.
Lindblom, who pitched primarily in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2015-19, owns a 9.72 ERA in eight relief appearances. He went 2-4 with a 5.16 ERA in 2020.
The Brewers also outrighted utilityman Jace Peterson to Nashville.
LHP Ryan Weathers (2-1, 1.48 ERA) starts for San Diego while RHP Adrian Houser (3-5, 4.53) works for Milwaukee as the teams conclude their four-game series on Thursday.
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