SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jurickson Profar wasn’t biting.
Shortly after helping San Diego beat the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 3-2, the Padres’ leadoff hitter was peppered with questions about Tuesday’s trade deadline.
The Padres are reportedly among the handful of teams making a strong bid for Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto, and have expressed interest Willson Contreras and Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs. The Padres expect star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. back sometime in the next several weeks, but their inconsistent offense can use help as they try to hang on in the NL wild-card race.
What’s the vibe in the clubhouse with the trade deadline approaching?
“Just go out there and play baseball. That’s what they pay us to do,” Profar said. “I love playing baseball and I always come here ready to play baseball.”
Could the Padres use an infusion of good players?
“I just play baseball, that’s it,” Profar said with a laugh. “I pay a little attention, but at the end of the day I come here ready to help this team win.”
That, he did. Profar homered for the second straight game and had a hand in the go-ahead rally in the sixth inning.
That rally backed Sean Manaea (6-5), who overcame home runs by Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda to get the win. Luis Garcia pitched a perfect ninth for his first save. The Padres are giving Taylor Rogers a break from the closer role after he blew consecutive saves last week against Detroit.
The Padres won a series against a division leader for the second time since the All-Star break. They won two of three at the New York Mets before losing two of three at Detroit.
“We came out of the break playing very good baseball,” Profar said. “We played very good against the Mets and we let some games…