SAN DIEGO (AP) — A.J. Griffin had an eventful two days back in San Diego, from visiting Balboa Park with his father to dominating his hometown Padres with a four-hitter for his second career shutout.
With Griffin rolling, Joey Gallo and Ryan Rua homered off Jered Weaver, and Robinson Chirinos also went deep as the Rangers routed San Diego 11-0 Tuesday to stop a three-game losing streak.
“I haven’t played a baseball game in San Diego in seven years now, which is kind of crazy if you think about that. It was really cool,” said Griffin, who played at Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon and then at the University of San Diego.
Griffin (4-0) was pitching against the Padres for the first time. All four hits off Griffin were singles, and the Padres got only one runner as far as third base. Griffin struck out four and walked one.
His parents and some friends were at the matinee game.
“My mom was pretty excited A little more excited than me, believe it or not. But that’s what moms do, I feel like,” Griffin said.
“It’s huge,” he added. “I like to win everywhere we go, but to be able to go out there and compete at this level is a blessing any day you are able to do it and just to have it so my parents didn’t have to go too far to come see me, that was pretty nice. I enjoyed it. It was fun.”
Griffin was selected by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2010 amateur draft. He had reconstructive elbow surgery in April 2014, didn’t pitch in the majors for two seasons and signed with the Rangers as a minor league free agent on Jan. 12, 2016.
Gallo and Rua each drove in three runs for the Rangers, who scored two more runs than they totaled in their previous four games combined.
This was the fourth time this season Griffin ended a team losing streak of three or more games.
“We just went out there and played today,” he said. “We played some baseball instead of worked baseball, so that was pretty good.”
Manager Andy Green said San Diego “was listless today offensively” and that Griffin slowed down the Padres with his curveball and then they couldn’t handle his fastball.
“That’s been a consistent problem for us. He exposed that problem. He switched speeds on us very, very well and we made very few adjustments,” Green said.
After splitting a two-game series, the teams head to Arlington for two more.
Weaver, 34, fell behind 5-0 in the first inning, which was highlighted by Rua’s three-run homer to right-center and Nomar Mazara’s two-run double.
Gallo hit a two-run homer to right with two outs in the third, his 11th home run this season, and Chirinos had a two-run homer to left off Kevin Quackenbush in the seventh.
Weaver (0-4) lasted only three innings, allowing seven runs and six hits. Weaver has allowed 14 homers in 35 2/3 innings in seven starts.
In his last three starts, Weaver has allowed 22 hits, including seven homers, and 22 runs — 17 of them earned. His ERA has climbed to 6.81.
“It was a battle that got away really quickly today,” Green said.
Weaver said he was “grinding against myself. I feel good in the bullpen and then once I go out there and try to throw everything 100 percent, something’s just not quite right. Obviously it’s been a struggle the last couple of starts. Nobody takes it harder than me. It’s been frustrating, not being able to throw the ball the way I want to. I know it’s right around the corner. I can feel it.it. I’m going to keep going out there and grinding. I’m going to figure this thing out.”
Griffin said he visited Balboa Park with his father on Monday. “And if anyone has not been, I recommend you do it because It’s the best place in the world,” he said.
Gallo’s homer was estimated at 381 feet. He hit a homer estimated at 442 feet here in the 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic for high schoolers. The Padres have since moved in the fences.
“The stadium’s changed a little bit,” Gallo said. “So I was looking around yesterday and I was like, “I forgot I played here when I was in high school.’ It’s pretty nice to hit one as a major leaguer and I hit one in high school, too, so it’s pretty cool.”
Rangers: The teams switch venues for a two-game series starting Wednesday night, when RHP Yu Darvish (3-2, 2.76) will try to improve to 2-0 lifetime vs. the Padres.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (0-0, 4.03) has never faced the Rangers.
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