Padres rookie has 10 straight starts with three or fewer runs allowed
By Shane Jackson
MINNEAPOLIS -- The night before his start, Padres right-hander Dinelson Lamet stayed up and visualized that he was facing the Twins' lineup.
The early preparation proved to be successful, as Lamet held Minnesota to one run over six innings in a 3-1, walk-off loss on Wednesday night at Target Field. The same bats that clubbed seven homers and lit up for 16 runs the previous night were stymied by Lamet's brilliance on the mound during the finale of the two-game set.
"I was imaging what it would would be like to face those guys, and I knew it would be a tall task for me," Lamet said.
But Lamet's latest showing is no surprise to those around him. It's actually become the norm nearly every time it's his turn in the rotation.
Lamet recorded his 10th straight outing of allowing three runs or fewer, notching his seventh quality start over that span. Lamet allowed five hits, including a leadoff single in the seventh to chase him, and recorded five strikeouts with a pair of walks.
"I thought he was good, and he's been good pretty much every time out over the last couple months," San Diego manager Andy Green said. "Another step in the right direction. More of the same, good slider and good fastball. [He] navigated the lineup well, minimized damage. I thought, overall, he threw the ball well."
Lamet only posted one clean inning, but showed the ability to stay composed no matter the circumstances.
After working around a one-out single in the first, Lamet allowed a leadoff double in the second frame to Eddie Rosario. Later in the inning, Rosario came around to score on a wild pitch by Lamet and a throwing error by catcher Austin Hedges.
Still, Lamet didn't buckle the rest of the game. The offense, however, was unable to provide him any support. Hedges snapped a 19-inning scoreless drought by the team with a solo shot in the eighth, which came after Lamet had exited the game.
In fact, the Padres have now provided three runs of support over his last five winless starts. But for Lamet, it's all about improving with each start, something he still thinks he can do, despite his recent success.
"I think right now I'm trying to focus on my fastball down and away," Lamet said. "Once I know how to do that, it's going to be difficult for hitters to handle my pitches."
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. He covered the Padres on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.