The homers were the only hits and runs Clevinger allowed in six innings, while striking out four and walking one.
The Indians had only four hits total.
“He’s got a real quick arm,” Francona said. “I don’t know if he made mistakes but we got a couple home runs because that was all we had. Clev can pitch, man. We’ve been around him long enough to know he’ll compete like crazy, too.”
Clevinger (4-5) was facing the Guardians for the second time since they traded him to San Diego in a nine-player deal during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The right-hander made his season debut against in the opener of a doubleheader at Cleveland on May 4 and got a no-decision in San Diego’s 5-4 victory.
The Padres hoped Clevinger would help them make a deep playoff run in 2020. Instead, he injured his elbow during his final regular-season start, missed the first-round series against St. Louis and was forced out of the Division Series opener against the Dodgers in the second inning. He had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2021.
San Diego, which came in leading Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games for the NL’s third wild card spot, lost for the sixth time in 10 games.
Earlier in the day, Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. privately apologized to his teammates for the 80-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball after a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance, then publicly expressed remorse.
Nick Sandlin (5-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his 29th save.
The Padres pulled to 2-1 in the fifth when Austin Nola hit a leadoff double, advanced on Jurickson Profar’s groundout and and scored on Jake Cronenworth’s single.
Jose Ramirez hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth to give Cleveland a 3-1 lead.
Cleveland starter Aaron Civale was pulled one batter after allowing Cronenworth’s RBI single. He gave up one run and four hits, struck out four and walked two.
“I don’t think I had the best command tonight, as the ball and strike ratio would show, but I acknowledged that early and made the most of what I had,” Civale said. “I just tried to keep them off balance by mixing it up as best I can.”
Plate umpire Stu Scheurwater called Brandon Drury out on on a low pitch in the fourth. Drury turned and said something to the ump and was ejected. It was Drury’s first career ejection.
The Guardians recalled OF Richie Palacios from Triple-A Columbus and optioned OF Nolan Jones to Columbus. This is Palacios’ fourth big league stint this year. He came in hitting .250 with 10 RBIs.
Padres: RF Juan Soto was a late scratch with left mid-back tightness. … RHP Yu Darvish, who had been scheduled to start Wednesday, was placed on the paternity list and LHP José Castillo was recalled from Triple-A El Paso. Castillo is on the active roster for the first time since 2019.
Guardians RHP Cal Quantrill (9-5, 3.77), who was sent to Cleveland in the Clevinger trade, and Padres LHP Blake Snell (5-6, 3.76) are scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday.
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