The day Ha-Sung Kim (28) went down with an untimely injury. Backup infielder Lugned Odor (29) saved the day for the San Diego Padres. His game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning was the unsung hero of San Diego’s comeback.
O’Dowd started at second base in the sixth spot in the lineup and 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 Sept. 26.
San Diego, which had lost two straight, lost Kim in the second inning after he was hit on the inside of his left knee by a foul ball in his first at-bat. The loss of Kim, who had been filling in nicely at third base after center fielder Manny Machado was sidelined with a microfracture in his left hand on the 20th, sent the Dodgers 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. Zander 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.
His third home run of the season, back-to-back days. It was a thrilling, come-from-behind three-run shot that sent the San Diego dugout into a frenzy. It was a good day for San Diego in more ways than one as X-rays 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 had a nine-year career with 174 home runs until last year, but his offense began to decline in 2019 and he bounced between the New York Yankees in 2021 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2022 스포츠토토.
Unable to find a team after last season, O’Dowd eventually landed in San Diego on a minor league deal. However, he made the opening day roster and is batting 2-for-15 (68 RBI) with three home runs, 14 RBI and a .729 OPS in 27 games as a backup. He’s been a multi-position backup at second base and right field, but since Machado’s injury and Kim Ha-seong’s move to third base, Odor has started five of the last seven games at second base. As his playing time has increased, so has his hitting. He is 4-for-9 (22 RBI) with two home runs, 11 RBI, and a 1.298 OPS during that stretch.
MLB.com wrote, “On a team loaded with the highest-paid superstars in franchise history, O’Dowd, who was brought in 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-2.0 on-base percentage (.184) this year, and O’Dowd has been decisive at the plate, going 3-for-5 with five doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs in 14 at-bats.
“We needed one game to get the team 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 the slumping Padres. “I feel good when O’Dowd comes to the plate. He’s not afraid of any situation.”
The 10-year veteran from Venezuela is known for his “nuclear fists. On May 16, 2016, while still with Texas, he made headlines when, angered 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, and Texas won the American League West. With a 23-27 record and a fourth-place finish in the National League West, San Diego will be looking to O’Dowd to turn things around.