Padres out to tame Ray, Diamondbacks

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It took Jayce Tingler four months longer than expected, but the Padres manager picked up his first major-league win Friday night in the season opener against the Diamondbacks at Petco Park in San Diego.

Of course, Tingler is looking for more than one win. And Saturday night he’ll try to stretch his record to 2-0 as the Padres again host the Diamondbacks.

“The win was nice but what was better was the way we played,” Tingler said of his team’s 7-2 victory on Friday. “We need to have different ways to win.”

Right-hander Dinelson Lamet will start Saturday for the Padres against Robbie Ray, a left-hander who has given the Padres problems at times and struggled with his command at other times.

The hard-throwing Ray was 12-8 last season with a 4.34 earned run average in 33 starts. He also had 235 strikeouts in 174 1/3 innings. In fact, over the past three seasons, Ray has averaged 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He also has issued more than 4.4 walks per nine innings.

Ray has a career 47-46 record with a 4.11 ERA in 146 starts while averaging 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings – and on the flip side, he has given up 4.1 walks per in the same time frame.

Ray’s career record against the Padres is 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 16 starts with 123 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings. He has a 3.89 ERA in eight starts at Petco Park, where the Padres have struck out against Ray 54 times in 44 innings. But last season, Ray was only 0-1 against the Padres with a 5.40 ERA in three starts.

“I’ve felt good preparing for this even though the circumstances have been a lot different,” Ray, 28, said of the preseason preparations interrupted by the shutdown cased by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for Lamet, the long delay to the start of the 2020 season wasn’t anything new. The 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery and didn’t make his 2019 debut until July 4. His UCL gave way during his final start of spring in 2018 — just when he was emerging as the Padres’ potential No. 1 starter.

Now Lamet is No. 2 to 24-year-old Chris Paddack, who pitched six scoreless innings Friday night as the fourth-youngest Opening Day starter in Padres history.

But the Padres believe Paddack and Lamet project to a formidable 1-2 punch.

“I want to pitch great and I want Chris to pitch great,” Lamet said recently.

Lamet posted a 3-5 record with a 4.07 ERA in 14 starts in his return last summer. He also had 105 strikeouts against 30 walks in 73 innings. And in three preseason appearances this year, Lamet allowed three hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in nine scoreless innings.

–Field Level Media

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