The San Diego Padres were staring down the barrel of postseason abyss. After losing Game 1 of the 2022 National League Championship Series and getting just one hit, the Padres trailed the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 heading into the sixth inning.
Brandon Drury hit a go-ahead, two-run single as part of a five-run sixth as San Diego rallied to defeat Philadelphia 8-5 in Game 2 to even the series at one game apiece.
"You go into their place, which is probably going to be as spirited as ours is, down 2-0 is probably an uphill battle", said Padres manager Bob Melvin.
"We go into Philly for three and it's a big game", added Drury. "We've got to fight and we did. It's huge."
The game-changing rally began with Austin Nola singling off his brother Aaron, who started for Philadelphia.
"We need to continue to build that confidence", Austin said. "That's what we talked about all year. The identity is never giving up, never giving in. Every inning we're putting pressure on the other team to score and it's paying off."
Drury also homered as did Josh Bell and Manny Machado.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson wants his team to approach this situation much the same way they did in the NLDS, when they split the first two games against Atlanta.
"We went into Atlanta, won the first one, lost the second one. Disappointing game. We had a day off and came back home in front of 46,000 raucous people and played really well. I expect to do the same thing", he said.
Phillies get off to fast start
Blake Snell, who would take the win, threw 37 pitches in the second when he gave up four runs.
Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos blooped singles before Alec Bohm drove in Harper with a sharp single to right. After a strikeout, Juan Soto lost Matt Vierling's ball in the sun for a run-scoring double.
Edmundo Sosa singled in front of Jurickson Profar in left and Kyle Schwarber hit a weak grounder that Vierling scored on after Drury stepped on first base.
Snell wound up pitching six innings, allowing four runs and five hits, striking out six and walking one.
Padres score five in the fifth, never look back to tie series
Drury and Bell cut the lead in half with long balls on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the inning.
In the fifth, Ha-seong Kim singled and Aaron threw over to first several times before Austin singled on an 0-2 pitch, bringing in Kim, who sped home all the way from first to make it 4-3.
"It's a typical plate appearance vs my brother. I'm 0-2", Austin said. "I might as well just walk up there and tell him to put two strikes on me because that's what it feels like.
"I know the battle. I know the kind of pitcher he is. He's not going to give in. I'm just trying to hit something hard through the middle and good things happen."
Jurickson Profar then singled and Soto followed with a game-tying double into right field on a pitch that appeared to jam him. Machado struck out before Brad Hand came out of the Philadelphia bullpen.
He proceeded to hit Jake Cronenworth to load the bases and that brought up Drury, whose single gave San Diego a 6-4 lead. Bell capped the scoring with a single in an inning where the Padres sent 11 men to the plate.
Machado homered leading off the seventh and Rhys Hoskins tagged the first pitch from Robert Suarez in the top of the eighth.
Josh Hader pitched the ninth for the save, striking out the side.
As for the Nola family showdown, Aaron is already looking forward to a possible rematch later in the series.
"I want to beat him. I want to go to the next round and let him go home."
Game 3 Friday in Philadelphia
The scene shifts to Philadelphia for the next three games with Game 3 on Friday.
Joe Misgrove, who is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the playoffs, will make the start for San Diego.
Ranger Suarez gets the ball for Philadelphia. The lefthander hasn't pitched since starting Game 1 of the NLDS against Atlanta.
First pitch is set for 7:37pm Eastern time.