Petco Park lit up with the news of the Padres making the post-season. Photo credit: @padres, via Twitter

The San Diego Padres will not be on the sidelines for baseball’s post-season this year – they’ll be in the thick of things.

That’s because they secured their spot in the playoffs Sunday at Petco Park as they defeated the Seattle Mariners 7-4 in 11 innings.

Normally, clinching in San Diego would have been a blessing, as the Padres had been slated to play in Seattle, before smoky air forced the series back home. Sadly though, due to COVID-19, no fans were there to celebrate the Padres ending a 14-year playoff drought.

They did so after scoring three runs in the top of the 11th – Seattle was the home team of record for the series, in San Diego or no – on a double by Mitch Moreland, a single by Jurickson Profar and an error that allowed Austin Nola to cross the plate.

“You’ve seen what we can do,” Fernando Tatis Jr. told “Everybody knows what we can do on this team. I know we ain’t settling just for this step. We’re going for way more.”

First-year manager Jayce Tingler, according to MLB, said the Padres “will play a brand of ball that makes this city proud.”

“For today and for the next couple hours, we’re going to enjoy it,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy every freaking moment of it … We hope to make it a special run.”

Baseball officials re-organized the playoffs to follow the 60-game shortened season, with division winners making it in, as well as five additional teams in each league.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the National League West, currently hold the NL’s top seed. The Padres, the 4th seed, are eying the Florida Marlins as a possible opponent to open the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Rays are the American League’s top seed with a week to go in the season.

After an off-day Monday, the Padres hit the road to play the Los Angeles Angels.

– Staff reports