|Padres aim for sweep of Blue Jays|
The visiting San Diego Padres will be going for the sweep of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.
It would be the third time the Padres have swept a series this season, while the Blue Jays have been swept five times.
The Padres won the opener 6-3 on Friday and the second game 19-4 on Saturday with a club-record seven home runs. The Blue Jays resorted to using catcher Luke Maile to pitch a scoreless top of the ninth inning.
"He did a good job," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "He saved an arm in the bullpen."
Maile pitched around a single and a hit batsman and struck out two.
The Blue Jays have lost 10 of their past 12 games at home, where they are 9-18 for the season. They are in a 6-18 funk, and the lack of success at home is particularly puzzling to the manager.
"I don't know why that is," Montoyo said. "Hopefully, it changes."
The Padres have won five in a row.
The series finale figures to be a good pitching matchup with the Padres sending out right-handed rookie Chris Paddack (4-2, 1.93 ERA) against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-6, 2.81).
Paddack's ERA through his first nine career starts is the lowest of any Padres pitcher in his first nine starts. The rookie is the only pitcher since 1893, when the mound was moved to its current distance from home plate, to record at least 56 strikeouts while allowing 42 or fewer baserunners via hits, walks and hit batsmen through his first nine career starts.
Stroman will make his 12th start of the season. He has faced the Padres once in his career, pitching to a no-decision on July 28, 2016, when he allowed seven hits, one walk and four runs while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.
The Padres unleashed their home-run barrage despite the absence of their leading homer hitter Franmil Reyes, who has 15 on the season.
Reyes was given a rest Saturday after playing right field Friday on the artificial turf of the Rogers Centre.
"Factoring in the turf where we are, what he's been through this year from a health perspective with his knees, it was probably wise," Padres manager Andy Green said. "His knees are completely fine right now. But it's probably wise to let him breathe from time to time."
Reyes suffered a torn right meniscus rounding first base on a single in November while playing in the Dominican Winter League.
"The last few days haven't been vintage Franmil," Green said. "Sometimes a day to breathe isn't a bad thing. He'll be available if there's a big moment late in the game."
Reyes was not needed as it turned out.
Hunter Renfroe hit two homers for the Padres Saturday and has three in the first two games of the series, giving him 14 for the season.
Josh Naylor, a native of nearby Mississauga, Ont., started in right field in his second major league game and picked up his first major league hit, an RBI double in the second. He finished 3-for-6. Another Canadian, Cal Quantrill, from nearby Port Hope, Ont., and son of major leaguer Paul Quantrill, pitched six innings to earn his first career win. Paul Quantrill pitched for the Blue Jays and the Padres in his 13-year big league career.
--Field Level Media