SAN DIEGO -- It's August, and Jhoulys Chacin is still a Padre -- much to the chagrin of the Minnesota Twins.
After spending July on the trade block, Chacin flummoxed the Twins in his first post-Deadline start Tuesday night. The veteran right-hander tossed seven scoreless frames, out-dueling Minnesota's Jose Berrios in a 3-0 Padres victory at Petco Park.
San Diego broke through against Berrios in the top of the sixth inning when Manuel Margot's sacrifice fly plated Hunter Renfroe. Austin Hedges would tack on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth with a two-run homer to the opposite field.
That was all Chacin needed. He allowed only three hits, while striking out three. The Padres have now won each of his last six starts, and Chacin has posted a 2.02 ERA in that span.
"I'm happy I'm still here," said Chacin. "... I just want to keep going out and giving all I got for the team and [I'm] appreciating the opportunity they gave me."
Berrios also lasted seven frames, allowing a run on two hits and fanning four. It was an impressive response after a shaky July, in which he posted a 5.79 ERA.
"He had a really good night," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He used all his pitches. His fastball was good and had a little extra velocity on a couple strikeouts. But he was unlucky on a couple fronts. … Just not enough offense. We're having a tough time finding ways to win right now."
Padres right-hander Kirby Yates pitched a perfect eighth, before handing the ball to closer Brad Hand. Like Chacin, Hand spent the better part of the past month dealing with trade rumors. And like Chacin, he set them aside rather easily.
Hand struck out Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer to start the frame before getting Eduardo Escobar to fly to right. He's now tossed 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the most in the Majors.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Game of inches: The Padres didn't notch their first hit against Berrios until the bottom of the sixth inning. It wasn't exactly scalded. Against a sharp breaking ball from Berrios, Renfroe tapped a chopper up the third-base line and barely beat Sano's throw. Hedges followed by lacing a double to right, just beyond the reach of Max Kepler. That set the stage for Margot's go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Austin power: Hedges' blast -- on an 0-1 fastball from Alan Busenitz -- was his 14th home run of the season, moving him within eight of Mike Piazza's single-season record for a Padres catcher. It marked Hedges' first home run since he missed two weeks with a concussion last month. He hadn't gone deep since July 7 in Philadelphia.
"He's been through so much in the last two weeks," said Padres manager Andy Green. "We missed him when he was on the concussion DL. We have him back swinging the bat. He's impacted us. The numbers don't look great, but the guy gets big hits. He's done it repetitively this year." Mpre >>
"It's not the best feeling. It's not fun when you do well and then things don't go our way. But we're still trying to compete and make the playoffs." -- Berrios on the Twins, who have lost seven of eight
"You're always open [to returning]. I'm really happy here, and they treat me really well. They have confidence in me, so I just want to give the same to the team, just give it all I have every time that I go out and pitch." -- Chacin, an impending free agent, when asked whether he'd consider returning to the Padres this offseason
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
It was the first loss for the Twins at Petco Park, as they entered with a 5-0 record at the ballpark in Interleague play. It was the first time Minnesota lost in San Diego since June 8, 2003.
SOLARTE AT SHORT
In his first start at shortstop since 2014, Yangervis Solarte passed muster. He took part in a pair of slick double plays and made every routine play that came his way. The lone hiccup on the night came in the seventh when Escobar legged out an infield hit. Solarte charged and fired a low throw to first baseman Wil Myers, who was unable to pick it.
"He held his own," said Green. "I thought there were some really nice double-play pivots out there."
Solarte -- better suited for second and third base -- will continue to play short sporadically in the future, so the Padres can fit Carlos Asuaje and Cory Spangenberg into the lineup.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: The Twins will turn to veteran right-hander Ervin Santana (11-7, 3.37 ERA) for the series finale on Wednesday at 2:40 p.m. CT. Santana went 6 2/3 innings last time out, allowing four runs on seven hits in a no-decision against the Dodgers..
Padres: Ground-ball machine Luis Perdomo starts Wednesday as the Padres and Twins wrap up their two-game Interleague set. Among pitchers with as many innings, nobody has induced grounders at a higher clip than Perdomo's 65-percent mark. First pitch is slated for 12:40 p.m. PT.