With the Marlins clinging to a one-run lead in the sixth, Don Mattingly had a decision to make.
Stick with his tiring starter, Dan Straily, and pray that he can finish off the inning with one more out? Or call down to the bullpen and bring in Adam Conley?
The manager opted for Straily and the decision backfired.
Straily threw a 3-1 slider and Franmil Reyes laid waste to it. Reyes bashed Straily’s 108th pitch for a two-run homer that wiped out a Marlins comeback and propelled the Padres to a 9-5 victory at Petco Park on Tuesday.
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"He was on his last guy," Mattingly explained of his decision to let Straily go after Reyes. "I thought he had enough to get through that guy."
Only then did Mattingly turn to Conley, but the damage had already been done. Mattingly said his plan was to have Conley ready to face lefty hitter Raffy Lopez just before Reyes. But when the Padres ran themselves into an out at third, he let Straily go after Lopez and Reyes.
Straily took care of Lopez, but not Reyes.
The Marlins had just rallied from a 3-0 deficit, taking a 4-3 lead in the sixth on RBI hits by J.T. Realmuto, Brian Anderson and J.B. Shuck.
But it failed to last.
After Eric Hosmer doubled to start the Padres’ sixth, the Marlins caught a break when he took off for third on Jose Pirela’s ground ball to short. JT Riddle’s throw nipped him just in time.
But with two outs and Straily at a season-high pitch count, Reyes crushed a 442-foot homer to give the Padres the lead for good.
"Slider outer edge," Straily said. "It's pretty clear he was probably sitting on that pitch at that point, the way he hit it. He beat me right there."
After giving up three runs in the first on four Padres singles and a Lewis Brinson fielding error, Straily settled down and cruised through the next four innings, retiring all but one of the 12 batters he faced. (Brinson would later cost the Marlins another run with his second error of the game when he muffed a fly ball.)
"Not the first inning we're looking for by any means," Straily said. "But after something like that happens, it's really our job as starting pitchers to keep it there as long as possible. You've got to have the mindset of if I don't let anything else happen the rest of the game, we've got this. We're going to come back and win this game."
The Marlins, meanwhile, came up with three runs of their own in the sixth. Realmuto drove in one run with a triple, Anderson tied it with his second single of the night, and Shuck put the Marlins on top with a two-out double.
Then came Reyes' home run, his second in two games against the Marlins, and the Padres added four more runs in the eighth off Tayron Guerrero and Jarlin Garcia.
Riddle circled the bases in the ninth with an inside-the-park home run to close out the scoring. It was the first inside-the-park homer by a Marlin since Aug. 24, 2017, when Realmuto did it.