The Padres stumbled into Anaheim still reeling from three embarrassing losses to the Dodgers. With less than six weeks left in the playoff chase, they desperately needed something or someone to stop their skid.
Joe Musgrove has been that guy all year for San Diego, and the local kid came through again with authority.
“I would have liked it to be anybody,” Musgrove said after throwing a three-hitter. “But it feels good that it was me.”
Musgrove was dominant in his first complete game since his no-hitter, and the Padres snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Musgrove (9-8) finished his second career complete game and shutout by allowing only one runner to reach second base at Angel Stadium. The El Cajon native struck out nine and walked two, keeping Shohei Ohtani and Los Angeles’ lineup thoroughly in check in his first meeting with the Angels since 2017.
“Joe put everything on his shoulders tonight and carried us,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said.
Jurickson Profar had an early two-run triple as San Diego rebounded from three straight losses to the defending World Series champions back home. The Padres are still in the thick of the NL wild-card race, and they remained two games back of Cincinnati for the final spot with a strong performance against the Los Angeles area’s much less formidable team.
“By no means are we out of this thing,” Musgrove said. “We’ve got a lot of ball to play left, and we’re right near that spot. Hopefully this is a sign we’re getting hot at the right time.”
Musgrove threw the Padres’ first no-hitter April 9, yet this gem in Anaheim was the latest of several starts in which he thought he was even better.
“I think when it comes to usage and stuff, tonight is probably the best night of the year for me,” Musgrove said.
Musgrove is the only starter to get through eight innings this season for San Diego. His teammates even gave him more than three runs of support for only the fifth time in his 25 starts this season.
“He’s thrown as well as anybody on this staff,” Tingler said. “Arguably he’s been the most consistent guy we’ve had. All I know is this: He takes the ball, and you feel like you’re going to win on that day.”
Phil Gosselin had two singles for the Angels, who have lost six of seven for the first time since May 8.
After losing their previous two games to the majors’ worst team in Baltimore, the Halos opened this rare two-game interleague matchup between teams only 90 miles apart with their sixth shutout loss since the All-Star break.
“That was all Musgrove’s fault,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.
Cooper Criswell (0-1) gave up six hits and three runs while getting just four outs in his major league debut for the Angels, whose rotation has been shredded by injuries. Maddon had never seen Criswell play in person before the 6-foot-6 former Tar Heel took the mound.
“I was actually pretty happy with how I threw it tonight,” said Criswell, who got his family and fiancée into Anaheim after learning Thursday night he would be starting. “Had good movement and stuff, but just wasn’t able to locate it for strikes when I needed to.”
Criswell gave up five straight hits in the second, including Profar’s triple to right. Jake Marisnick followed with an RBI single.
Packy Naughton relieved Criswell and threw 4 1/3 solid innings in his second major league appearance.
I’M NOT GOING
Tingler initially thought he would pull Musgrove after he finished the eighth inning on 101 pitches, but the skipper changed his mind quickly.
“He had a glare in his eye,” Tingler said. “He wasn’t coming out.”
Musgrove said they had “a great talk.”
“It’s not very often you get to that point in the game, and I thought I was in complete control,” he said. “I put up a little bit of a fight there.”
Austin Nola singled in an unearned run in the fifth after Angels shortstop José Iglesias fumbled the relay on a potential double play for his 15th error. Later in the inning, San Diego scored again on a throwing error by Iglesias, who had never committed more than 11 errors in a full season before he joined the Angels this year.
SHO FOR FOUR
Ohtani went 0 for 4 for the third time in six games. The majors’ home runs leader is in a 4-for-24 slump over the last seven.
Padres: LF Wil Myers wasn’t in the starting lineup for the second straight game after injuring his hamstring Wednesday.
Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval is out for the season with a stress fracture in his back. He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 13, but the 24-year-old broke through as a big league starter this season with a 3.62 ERA over 17 appearances, including 14 starts.
Ryan Weathers (4-6, 5.27 ERA) returns to the rotation for San Diego in the series finale against Los Angeles’ José Suarez (5-7, 4.06 ERA).