SAN DIEGO – Austin Nola raised an RBI solo in reverse to get off his younger brother Aaron, turned toward the San Diego Padres hideout and raised his right fist.
Such was the extent of the emotion in the fraternal confrontation.
Aaron Nola, 29, immediately got back into action and retired the next hitters, Austin Nola’s Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0.
“I’m glad we got the win, but then your brother got the loss,” said 32-year-old Padres player Austin Nola. “He made an incredible match. It’s fun to watch. There’s no doubt about that. He did it for us twice. He threw seven innings. He threw eight games last year. What a performance he has.
“It was weird. I took the hit and said, ‘Ah, I feel great,’ and then I looked at him locked up again, chasing the next hitter. Credit to him. Nothing ever bothers him.”
“Yes, I’ll hear about it tonight,” Aaron joked to reporters. “He runs his mouth a lot.”
This is the first time an RBI player has battled his brother in a 1-0 win since the RBIs became official in 1920, according to STATS.
“The story is there, right?” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Baseball can be a great game in situations like this. It can break your heart again. That’s just great theater. The only RBI in the game against his brother, that’s great stuff.”
Mackenzie Gore, the rookie left-hander in San Diego, and three painkillers combined into a five hitter. Closer Taylor Rogers loaded the bases with two ends on the ninth before making Kyle Schwarber fly into central square.
Austin Nola was 0 for 4 against his brother in two seasons until one foot in the opposite right with one in sixth to bring in Eric Hosmer, who was on board in a singles double.
Aaron Nola, 29, kept Padres balanced through the first five rounds, including retiring his 32-year-old brother on a milling machine in the second and a punch in the fourth.
“I was 0-2 behind the whole game against him,” Austin said. “The last two years I’ve been 0-2 ahead of him. Nothing new. That’s what he does. You see the competitive side of him. That’s what makes him an elite.”
Nolas faced each other for the first time as a pro on August 21. They grew up in Baton Rouge and both played for LSU.
Other than getting a step up from his brother, Aaron Nola (4-5) set a good tone. He allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings while hitting 10 and walking twice.
“Fighting him is stressful because from a point of view you have your bowler and he gets past your bowler, and then you have to move on to the fact that I am now facing my brother in a major league game and he is restless so you have to like mentally jumping off someone,” said Austin Nola. To another, ‘Okay, I have to help MacKenzie work through this,’ and then, Boom, he’s coming right after you.”
Gore hit four and walked four. He struggled with his control in the third inning and carried the bases on one walk before making Bryce Harper fly to the left to finish the inning.
Nabil Krismat (4-0) put in two perfect shots for the win. Luis Garcia hit the heart of the rankings in eighth place. Rogers loaded the bases with two strokes by allowing back-to-back singles and then hitter Jairo Munoz walked away with two strokes before Schwarber retired for his 22nd save.
Padres had retired 12 hitters in a row until Alec Bohm picked one up for ninth.