SAN DIEGO — Sure.
Now they’re rolling.
The Padres won their third straight game Sunday, beating the Giants 4-0 at Petco Park.
At eight games below .500, the Padres somehow remain relevant, if not all that realistic, when discussing the National League playoff picture.
They moved to within six games of the final National League playoff spot and could be 5½ back by day’s end, three games closer than they were after losing arguably their ugliest game of the season to the Giants on Thursday.
There are just 24 games remaining in which to make up that ground. It has been 12 years since an MLB team made the postseason since being this far back with this little time left. And the Padres (65-73) would need to jump the four teams between them and the final wild-card spot — and do so without two of their top starting pitchers, one of their regular infielders and a higher-leverage reliever on the injured list plus another high-leverage reliever out another six games while serving a suspension.
More likely than leading to them playing in October, this surge is simply the latest in a long summer of reminders of how attainable a postseason berth was.
And of what they might have been.
They have over the past three games gotten significant contributions from their best players, something that has been too infrequent much of the season.
Juan Soto began the scoring with a two-run homer in the first inning, his third straight game with a home run.
Manny Machado followed with a single and scored when Xander Bogaerts grounded a double to the wall in left-center field that put the Padres up 3-0 after the first inning.
Machado made it 4-0 with a home run over the wall in center field.
That was the Padres’ eighth home run in the past three games, something they had not done over a three-game stretch at Petco Park since April 2-4.
Seth Lugo (6-6, 3.49) allowed three hits and walked one, as he made it through six scoreless innings for the third time in his past four starts. Nick Martinez, Scott Barlow and Josh Hader all worked a scoreless inning to close out the game.