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 slip away from us in Detroit, but we played against a really good team this series and we took two games out of three. It’s pretty good."
Profar homered off Dylan Bundy (6-5) with two outs in the third for a 1-0 lead. It was his 11th.
The Twins came back with homers by Arraez leading off the fifth, his sixth, and Miranda with one out in the sixth, his 10th.
The Padres took the lead while chasing Bundy during a sixth-inning rally. Trent Grisham and Profar opened the inning with consecutive singles to run Bundy, who was replaced by former Padres reliever Emilio Pagán. After Manny Machado lined out to center, Jake Cronenworth singled in the tying run and Luke Voit singled in the go-ahead run.
“That’s the way we should be playing every night," Profar said. "That’s what I expect out of this team.”
Manaea allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked three.
Bundy gave up three runs and four hits in five-plus innings, struck out three and walked none.
Padres manager Bob Melvin was ejected for arguing with first base umpire Jerry Layne in the fifth inning after a call was overturned after video review. Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer caught Byron Buxton's foul ball up against the netting, but the Twins challenged and the call was overturned, with the ruling that the ball hit the netting on the way down.
Buxton eventually struck out and Carlos Correa was intentionally walked to load the bases before Jorge Polanco hit into a force to end the inning.
“I don't know what happened there,” Melvin said. “It looked like he caught it so I was just asking for clarification. I've been given clarification before, I've been thrown out before doing that."
“It was a good win for us, a good series win,” said Hosmer, who might be on the trade block. “It's a good team over there. Anytime from this point on that we can win series is kind of our goal, it's where we want to be. We knew this one was going to be a big one today.”