SAN DIEGO — Ryan McMahon hit a three-run homer off Joe Musgrove and drove in five runs for the Colorado Rockies, who beat Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres 7-3 on Thursday to avoid a five-game sweep.
The Padres didn’t give the crowd much to cheer about compared to Wednesday night, when a sold-out crowd gave Soto several standing ovations in his first game with San Diego since the blockbuster trade that brought him in with Josh Bell from Washington on Tuesday. The Padres won that game 9-1 as newcomer Brandon Drury hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw with the Padres.
Soto had a triple and a double and scored a run on Thursday. The 23-year-old superstar earned a break on a Kyle Freeland (7-7) triple in the lead in the sixth when right fielder Charlie Blackmon and center fielder Yonathan Daza dropped his ball between them as Soto strolled around the goals. Bell chose Soto and eventually scored on Austin Nola’s single.
Soto doubled with two outs in the seventh and was blocked.
The Rockies took a 6-0 lead thanks mostly to McMahon and the Padres weren’t close to making up the backlog.
“Very easily with this crowd and with their guys, all the excitement there, the momentum could change pretty quickly,” McMahon said. “So to come in here, take the lead first and put six on them before they could score, that was huge.”
Freeland won his third straight start, limiting San Diego to two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four. Freeland loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and then blasted Manny Machado to the left.
Musgrove (8-5) struggled in his first start since signing a five-year, $100 million contract on Monday and lost his fifth straight decision in seven starts. The big right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, the first time this season he failed to go five innings. He struck out six and walked one.
McMahon had a two-run double with two outs in the third and was ejected trying to take the third. His three-run homer with two out in the fifth gave the Rockies a 6-0 lead and chased Musgrove. It was his ninth home run. It came two hitters after José Iglesias hit an RBI double over the head of Soto on the right.
“It was good for Ryan,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We’ve seen some good swings in a few games here. I like that the first hit was a fastball; he threw it, hit it in the corner. It’s a good sign, Mac is getting on the fastball. And then he got the break ball suspended for the three-point home run, which was a game-changer for us. Good for Mac.
Rockies left fielder Sam Hilliard made a bounding grab against the wall to deny Drury a two-run homer in the second.
Rockies: RHP Germán Márquez (6-9, 5.29 ERA) is set to start Friday night in Game 1 of a three-game series in Arizona against LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.83).
Padres: LHP Sean Manaea (6-5, 4.25) is set to start Friday night in Game 1 of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will counter with RHP Tony Gonsolin (12-1, 2.41 ).