SAN DIEGO -- Manny Machado hit two homers and drove in three runs Friday night for the San Diego Padres, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 to extend their season-high winning streak to eight games.
A season after Machado helped carry the Padres to the N.L. Championship Series, they’re fighting for their playoff lives. The Padres are four games out in the race for the third and final N.L. wild card, with four teams ahead of them. They’ve been under .500 since May 12.
“We have eight games to empty the tank,” said Machado, who reached 30 homers for the seventh time. He’s been limited to DH duty since Sept. 1 due to right tennis elbow he said will require surgery after the Padres’ season ends.
Machado twice put San Diego ahead, the second time on a two-run homer to left field off Matthew Liberatore (3-6) with one out in the eighth inning. Machado gestured toward the Padres’ dugout after hitting his 30th homer, with Juan Soto aboard on a double.
He was greeted with chants of “Manny! Manny! Manny!” from the sellout crowd of 42,983 and then answered a curtain call.
“Right now I’m going to continue to keep playing,” Machado said. “It’s the same day every day. It’s not getting worse, it’s not getting better. Surgery is going to be there when the time is. Ultimately now it’s just a matter of going out and competing.”
In the sixth, Machado blew a bubble as he rounded first after his leadoff homer against Dakota Hudson gave the Padres a 2-1 lead. It was his 39th career multi-homer game and sixth this season.
“He’s got a flair for the dramatic, too,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Their guy pitched well so it came down to a couple of Manny homers, which we’ve seen him do before. It’s not a surprise.
“He continues to go out there and play. Doesn’t have to. I think he even took some early swings today, which we’re trying to limit his swings because of it, but he wants to be the best he can be and he certainly was tonight.”
It’s taken until late September for the high-priced Padres to play their best baseball. Their payroll of around $250 million is the third-highest in the majors.
“We’re just playing right now,” Melvin said. “We’ve tried all sorts of different strategies here to understand where we are. Right now we’re just playing games.”
The Cardinals tied it in the eighth when Paul Goldschmidt hit a leadoff single and scored on Jordan Walker’s triple to center field off Luis Garcia. The Cardinals couldn’t bring in Goldschmidt as Garcia struck out Richie Palacios and walked Ivan Herrera before Robert Suarez (4-2) came on and retired the side.
The Cardinals, who were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night and are last in the N.L. Central, tied the game at 1 when Masyn Winn homered leading off the sixth against starter Matt Waldron. It was his second.
The Padres had taken a 1-0 lead on Brett Sullivan’s RBI single in the second.
Waldron, making his fifth start, has allowed a homer in all seven appearances this year. Winn’s shot was the first Waldron served up with his knuckleball. Waldron permitted one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out nine and walked two.
Notes: The Cardinals placed 3B Nolan Arenado and C Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list, ending their seasons. Arenado was sidelined by lower back spasms, and Contreras has left wrist tendinitis. … St. Louis also transferred OF Dylan Carlson to the 60-day IL, selected infielder-outfielder Irving Lopez from Triple-A Memphis and recalled outfielder Michael Siani from Memphis. … Cardinals RHP Jake Woodford (2-2, 5.31 ERA) and Padres RHP Nick Martinez (5-4, 3.73) are scheduled to start tonight.