Padres post 4-run 6th, cool off Yanks to avoid sweep

The San Diego Padres scored four runs in the sixth inning on Sunday to defeat the visiting New York Yankees 5-2 and avert a three-game sweep.

Jeremiah Estrada (2-0), who came on in relief of Padres starter Joe Musgrove with one out and a run home in the fifth, struck out all five batters he faced. The right-hander, who was picked up on waivers from the Chicago Cubs in the offseason, has fanned 15 of the last 18 batters he has faced.

Jake Cronenworth, Ha-Seong Kim and Luiz Arraez each had two of the Padres’ nine hits. Kim, Arraez and Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in a run each in the sixth, which the Yankees aided by walking two batters and making two errors.

The Padres had lost four of their last six games overall and six of seven at home. They were hitting just .119 in dropping the first two games of the series and being outscored 12-1.

The Yankees had a four-game winning streak halted and had won 11 of 13 coming in. They took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth when Anthony Volpe extended his hitting streak a career-high 19 games with a single off Musgrove. He stole second and scored easily when Juan Soto lashed a double to right-center that Tatis in right field appeared to misjudge.

Musgrove was pulled in favor of Estrada, who struck out Aaron Judge on three pitches and Alex Verdugo on four.

In Musgrove’s 5 1/3 innings, he gave up six hits, the one run, no walks and struck out five.

But things quickly went awry for New York and starter Clarke Schmidt.

Cronenworth reached on an error, and Schmidt walked Manny Machado before being pulled in favor of left-hander Victor Gonzalez.

Pinch hitter Donovan Solano walked, loading the bases. Jackson Merrill then hit a hard bouncer that went for a fielder’s choice as the tying run scored.

Kim’s safety squeeze succeeded when first baseman Anthony Rizzo tried to barehand the bunt and make a throw home, but he bobbled the ball and all hands were safe, with the Padres leading 2-1. It was their first lead of the series.

Arraez later lined a single for a 3-1 bulge, and the fourth run came in when Tatis hit a dribbler down the third base line for a single.

In five-plus innings, Schmidt (5-3) gave up three hits and three walks. He was charged with two runs (one earned) and struck out six.

Estrada came back out for the seventh and fanned Giancarlo Stanton, Rizzo and Torres, lowering his ERA to 0.59 in 11 games covering 15 1/3 innings.

Back-to-back doubles by Cronenworth and Machado to begin the seventh padded the lead to 5-1.

Verdugo slugged a homer to lead off the ninth off closer Robert Suarez, who came on in the eighth and completed his 15th save of the season.

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