National League Petco Park MLB
Jake Cronenworth gave fans a thrill Wednesday with a game-tying homer, but by game’s end they were booing the team. Photo credit: @Padres via Twitter

The Padres welcome the Boston Red Sox to town Friday and neither club is where they thought they would be entering the 2023 season.

In the thick of things in their division races? Nope, both are eight games back.

The Friars are in fourth place in the National League West after dropping two of three to the woeful Kansas City Royals, while the Sox are faring even worse, though in the very tough American League East.

Boston, in last place, trails the hottest team in the big leagues, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox, however, are four games over .500. The Padres are four games under.

The team has hit the skids in May, going 5-10, a stretch that includes being swept in Los Angeles and losing a series to the Royals, a team lagging in last place in the AL Central with a 14-31 record.

“The answers are getting some hits and relaxing and trying to understand, you know, that you’re in charge in those situations, but to this point we just haven’t done it. And it hasn’t been one or two guys, it’s really been everybody,” said manager Bob Melvin.

And everybody on the team heard it at Petco Park Wednesday during their 4-3 loss to the Royals. The typically laidback Padre fans booed lustily as Ha-Seong Kim hit a grounder for the final out.

“I don’t blame them for booing,” slugger Manny Machado told “We’re not playing well right now.”

Adding to their woes, the team said Wednesday that Machado, who was hit by a pitch Monday, suffered a small fracture on the metacarpal on his left hand. Right now the Padres are opting to rest their star, with an off day ahead Thursday, and see how he responds, rather than placing him on the injured list.

“We’ll see where we are once we come back,” Melvin said.

Blake Snell is set to take the mound Friday, followed by Joe Musgrove Saturday and Michael Wacha Sunday. Tickets remain for all three weekend games.