SAN DIEGO (AP) – Joe Musgrove popped up out of the dugout on the first base side of Petco Park, paused at the foul line, doffed his cap, and reflected for a moment before continuing out to the mound.
He was home.
Musgrove was brilliant in his debut for his hometown Padres on Saturday night, striking out eight in six innings and leading San Diego to a 7-0 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He combined on a four-hitter with rookie Ryan Weathers and got plenty of support, with Manny Machado homering for his first hit of the season and Wil Myers driving in three runs on two doubles.
“It felt awesome to be on the right side of the ball tonight,” said Musgrove, obtained from Pittsburgh on Jan. 19. “It was nice to be on the receiving end of the home crowd cheering. I always get a lot of support when I come to San Diego regardless, just because I’m from here, and I think it says a lot about San Diego itself that they’ll support the kid on the visiting team just because he’s from here.
“It’s nice to be on the home team now,” the big right-hander said. “I’ve never wanted something more than I do now, to bring a championship to the city, and tonight was the first step.”
His parents and other family members were in the stands. Musgrove said his parents often whistle at him during games, but “I was in a zone tonight where I didn’t hear anything.”
He planned to see his parents right after his postgame news conference.
“I know they’re thrilled with my performance, and they’re just thrilled to have me back in San Diego,” he said.
Musgrove (1-0) held the Diamondbacks to three hits in six innings while striking out eight and walking none. After allowing a one-out single in the first, he retired 11 straight, seven by strikeout. Weathers, who made his big league debut in Game 1 of the NL Division Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, finished with three strikeouts in three innings for his first save.
Musgrove, who went to Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, was obtained from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Jan. 19 in a three-team, seven-player trade. He was acquired three weeks after general manager A.J. Preller landed Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Each of the three new starters has won his first outing.
Musgrove grew up a Padres fan and went to games with his parents, who had season tickets. He wears No. 44 to honor his favorite pitcher, Jake Peavy, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2007 with San Diego.
San Diego manager Jayce Tingler was impressed with Musgrove‘s performance, including some competitive at-bats. “Being able to do that in front of family and friends in his hometown, to control the emotion, just an all-around great night, it was nice to see,” Tingler said.
In the first, Machado hit an opposite-field shot to the right off Caleb Smith (0-1). Machado had 16 homers in 60 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and spurred the Padres down the stretch toward their first playoff appearance in 14 seasons.
San Diego rookie Kim Ha-Seong, signed as a free agent from South Korea, hit an RBI single for his first big league hit and RBI. Myers hit a two-run double in the second, Machado had an RBI single in the fourth, and Myers doubled home Machado in the sixth. Jake Cronenworth then doubled in Myers.
Smith allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits in three innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Kim’s mother arrived at the ballpark in time to see him get his first hit. “I feel so happy. My family is probably happier than me right now. I’m just so happy for them,” he said through a translator.
Left fielder Jorge Mateo made a spectacular catch in front of the fence of Christian Walker’s fly ball in the second to at least take away an extra-base hit. Musgrove took off his cap and waved it in appreciation. In the fifth, Machado made two nice plays from shallow right in the shift.
Diamondbacks: 1B Christian Walker came out of the game following SS Eduardo Escobar’s throw after Fernando Tatis Jr.’s grounder bounced and hit him under the left eye. After being tended by a trainer, Walker came out of the game and replaced Tim Locastro. … Arizona placed SS Nick Ahmed on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation and recalled INF Geraldo Perdomo from the alternate training site.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Widener (0-1, 4.50 ERA in 2020) is scheduled to make his first big league start in the series finale. He made his major league debut last year with 12 relief appearances. Padres: RHP Chris Paddack (4-5, 4.73) is scheduled to make his season debut. He was the opening day starter in 2020 but struggled.
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