Nick Margevicius is a rookie left-hander who wasn't expected to be with the Padres this season, because he spent last season in Single-A.
"It's hard to really have any expectations of someone being that good," manager Andy Green said.
Manny Machado is a superstar who wasn't expected to be with the Padres this season, because he's a superstar.
"He's been what we need him to be," Green said.
For different reasons, the pair's contributions have continually amazed the Padres and their fans through the first two weeks of a season that has started like few have for the organization.
On Wednesday, as Margevicius was continuing the excellent premature start to his major league career, allowing one run in six innings, Machado was fielding ground balls and making plays and hitting a solo home run off the top of Oracle Park's right field wall that was the deciding run in a 3-1 victory over the Giants.
With that, the Padres clinched their third series win in the four they've played in 2019. They are 4-2 on a road trip that continues Thursday in Phoenix with the first of four games against the Diamondbacks.
Their 8-5 start has been bettered once (2009) and matched once (2015) in the franchise's past 20 years.
Machado made at least three plays in the field that Margevicius, who got his first major league victory, said "pretty much saved the game at different points."
That included a barehanded grab of a slow roller and throw across the diamond for an out in the third inning and a catch for the final out on a skied pop-up that would have been routine had the sun not proven a challenge all day.
"We're all screaming in the dugout (that) no one catches that last ball but Manny," Green said. "We trust a lot of guys on the field, but we like him using his hands the most."
In between those two plays, Machado contributed to saving a run by fielding a slow chopper that was slicing away from him and throwing home as his body drifted toward shortstop. Catcher Francisco Mejia grabbed the high and hard throw, came down and tagged out Erik Kratz.
"I was just trying to turn two," Machado said. "But how the ground ball was hit, I think at that point we weren't going to get (the runner) going to first. So I was trying to get one out."
Machado is nonchalant about almost all he does on the field, because he has been doing what he does for so long. It was clear, however, that his throw surprised Kratz, who didn't even slide, thinking Machado would cede the run and get an out at first base.
Asked how many third baseman would have been able to make that play, second baseman Ian Kinsler said, "Not many."
Margevicius struck out Steven Duggar to end the fifth.
Machado, up second in the sixth, launched a first-pitch fastball for his third homer of the season, breaking a 1-1 tie. His high fly ball barely cleared the two-story brick facade and bounced off the green metal roof, giving him just the 22nd home run by a right-handed hitter to right field in the 19 years Oracle Park has been the Giants' home.
"He made one mistake all day," Machado said of Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez. "I was able to take advantage."
The only other run Rodriguez (1-2) allowed in his seven innings came in the second, when Luis Urias walked, went to second base on Margevicius' sacrifice bunt and scored on Manuel Margot's single.
The Padres added a run in the ninth when Hunter Renfroe tripled and Wil Myers drove him home with a single.
Trey Wingenter replaced Margevicius and retired the first two batters he faced, and left-hander Brad Wieck came in to get Brandon Belt to end the seventh.
After pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval led off the eighth with a doubled flared inside the right field line against Wieck, Craig Stammen came on to get the next three outs.
Kirby Yates struck out Yangervis Solarte and got Belt on a pop-up to strand runners at second and third earn his seventh save in seven tries.
It preserved the victory for Margevicius, whose fastball only reached 89 mph four times all day. None of those was in his most impressive final inning, on the heels of Machado's go-ahead homer.
"We got a run in the top," Margevicius said of the sixth inning. "… I went out there and was like, '3-4-5, here we go. I need a shutdown inning. I'm going to throw up a zero right here.' "
He strung together three four-pitch strikeouts of Tyler Austin, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, the Giants' 3-4-5 hitters.
The other surprise Padre was impressed.
"It's crazy what he's been doing so far," Machado said. "He hasn't even shown he's nervous or anything. He's not showing any fear."
Apr 10, 2019 6:29 PM