SAN DIEGO (AP) – The way things were going, it seemed the Padres would likely be sellers as the trade deadline approaches. That was before they won five of eight on homestead that might change the front office’s thinking.
Justin Upton homered and Odrisamer Despaigne pitched six solid innings as San Diego beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Sunday.
Upton, mentioned in various trade rumors, hit his 16th home run and also singled. Yonder Alonso had two hits.
“We strung together some pretty good baseball,” Upton said. “We started out pretty well after the break and we finished well on this homestand. Hopefully this is something we can continue on the road trip.”
It seems remote the Padres (47-52) could climb back into playoff contention. But after winning three straight games, there’s a different feeling in the clubhouse.
“I think we have a good mindset,” Upton said. “I don’t know what it is, but everyone is kind of vibing. Hopefully we can keep it going.
“We’re not too far off. I think this (Mets) series coming up is a big one for us. We have to play well against a good team with good pitching, so we’re going to have to do some good pitching of our own.”
Despaigne (4-7) gave up a run and two hits with two walks and struck out three. He also hit a batter. The win was Despaigne’s first since beating the Pirates on May 31.
“Everyone from the outfielders to the infielders has been playing good defense and it’s contagious,” Despaigne said through a translator. “If you pitch well, everyone seems to feed off of that and play well. If you don’t pitch well, the rest of the team seems to follow suit. It’s all contagious.”
The Padres have won nine of the last 11 games against the Marlins at Petco Park.
Mat Latos (4-7) failed in his fourth attempt to beat his former team. He gave up all three runs and six hits while striking out six in six innings.
“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Latos said. “I was all over the place today, mechanic-wise.”
J.T. Realmuto homered in the sixth off reliever Brandon Maurer to pull the Marlins to 3-2.
Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth and Craig Kimbrel got the last three outs for his 29th save in 30 chances.
The Padres went ahead 3-1 in the sixth as Will Venable scored on Matt Kemp’s ground out. Venable doubled and advanced to third on Yangervis Solarte’s sacrifice bunt.
Despaigne, using a variety of speeds and arm angles, didn’t allow a hit until Realmuto’s single to open the fifth. Realmuto came around on Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice fly, slicing the Padres’ edge to 2-1. Kemp’s running catch in right on Christian Yelich’s drive ended the inning and prevented Miguel Rojas from scoring.
“We had some opportunities in the fifth,” manager Dan Jennins said.
Upton led off the second with a homer. Alonso followed with a single and eventually scored on Alex Amarista’s sacrifice fly for a 2-0 advantage.
The Padres are suddenly playing with an edge.
“We definitely ended on a positive note but we have to keep getting better,” interim manager Dan Jennings said. “If that happens, we have a chance to play well and anything can happen.”
The Padres are 101-1 since the start of the 2014 season when leading after the eighth inning. That includes a 38-0 record this year after Sunday’s win.
Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas left the game with a right shoulder strain after making a diving play in the sixth inning. He is day-to-day. … 2B Dee Gordon (thumb) could be activated on Tuesday.
Padres: OF Wil Myers (wrist) suffered a setback in his post-surgery phase after taking short swings and will consult with his surgeon. … RHP Brandon Morrow (shoulder) threw 40 pitches for Triple-A El Paso on Saturday and reported no pain.
Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez (3-0, 2.77) seeks his fourth straight win since returning from Tommy John surgery as he faces the Nationals on Tuesday in Washington.
Padres: RHP James Shields (8-3, 3.77) has split two decisions over his last five starts as his inability to go deep into games has been an issue. He hasn’t pitched more than seven innings in an outing this season. He goes against the Mets in New York.
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