The day Ha Sung Kim (28) went down with an untimely injury. Backup infielder Lugned Odor (29) saved the San Diego Padres. His come-from-behind three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning was the hero of San Diego’s late rally.
O’Dowd, batting sixth and playing second base, went 2-for-5 with five RBIs, including a game-winning three-run homer in the ninth inning, to lead the Padres to an 8-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
San Diego, which had lost two straight, lost Kim in the second inning when he was hit on the inside of his left knee by a foul ball in his first at-bat and went down. The loss of Kim, who had been filling in nicely at third base after centre fielder Manny Machado was sidelined with a microfracture in his left hand on the 20th, sent San Diego’s mood into a tailspin.
Trailing 5-6 heading into the eighth and facing a third straight loss, the Padres had runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth on back-to-back singles by Jake Cronenweth and Juan Soto. Xander Bogaerts and Matt Carpenter followed with back-to-back singles, but O’Dowd came to the rescue. He took a two-pitch, 98.6 mph four-seam fastball from Washington closer Hunter Harvey and sent it over the right field wall.
It was his third home run of the season, back-to-back days. The thrilling, come-from-behind three-run shot sent the San Diego dugout into a frenzy. It was a good day for San Diego in more ways than one as an X-ray revealed a simple bruise on his knee.
O’Dowd, a right-handed hitting infielder who signed a minor league contract with the Padres during an exhibition game in March, is the backup to Kim at second base. After debuting with the Texas Rangers in 2014, Oh hit for power with 174 career home runs in nine years until last year, but his offence began to decline in 2019 and he bounced between the New York Yankees in 2021 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2022.안전놀이터
Unable to find a team after last season, O’Dowd eventually came to San Diego on a minor league deal. However, he made the opening day roster and is batting 2-for-15 (68 at-bats) with three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .729 OPS in 27 games as a backup. He’s been a multi-position backup at second base as well as right field, but since Machado’s injury and Kim Ha-seong’s move to third base, O’Dowd has been the starting second baseman in five of the last seven games. As his playing time has increased, so has his hitting. He is batting 4-for-9 (22 RBI) with two home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.298 OPS during that stretch.
MLB.com writes, “On a team loaded with the highest-paid superstars in franchise history, O’Dowd, who was acquired on a minor league deal this spring, has emerged as the most reliable clutch hitter. San Diego is the only team in the league with a sub-double-digit on-base percentage (.184) this year, and O’Dowd has been decisive at the plate, going 3-for-5 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 14 at-bats.
“We needed one game to get us going,” O’Dowd said. Someone had to step up and it’s me. We’re just getting started,” said O’Dowd, who is confident the home run will spark a comeback for a slumping San Diego team. “When O’Dowd comes to the plate, it’s a good feeling,” said San Diego manager Bob Melvin. He’s not afraid of any situation.”
The 10-year veteran from Venezuela is known for his “nuclear fist”. He made headlines on May 16, 2016, when he was with Texas, when, enraged by Jose Bautista’s rough slide to second base against the Toronto Blue Jays, he punched him squarely in the face. It remains one of the most intense moments in major league brawling history. That year, O’Dowd had a career-high 33 home runs as Texas won the American League West. With San Diego slipping to 23-27 and fourth place in the National League West, it will be interesting to see if O’Dowd can turn things around.