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Big-spending Padres eliminated from playoff contention

CHICAGO — The San Diego Padres will spend the offseason wondering what went wrong.

The high-spending Padres were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday night despite a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox, a result that prompted Manny Machado to give his teammates a post-game pep talk.

“We did what we were supposed to do, but it was a little too late,” Machado said. “We’re going to grow from this … We have the ability to play better baseball than we did this year.”

Juan Soto’s seventh-inning hitout gives the Miami Marlins a 4-3 comeback victory over Pittsburgh for their 83rd victory, ensuring the Padres miss out on the National League’s three wild-card berths one.

Despite winning 12 of their last 14 games, the Padres (80-80) couldn’t overcome a sluggish start to the season for a star-studded team that ranked first with a payroll of nearly $258 million. Third in the majors. In early May, the Padres slipped below .500 with a 1-9 record — San Diego’s last winning record was on May 10.

“We know we’ve had a tough year and there’s still a lot to do,” manager Bob Melvin said. “All we can do at this point is win games and create a good feeling.”

This marked the second time in the wild-card era (since 1995) that the top three payroll teams (New York Mets, New York Yankees and Padres) all missed the postseason. The same thing happened with the Yankees, Mets and Detroit Tigers in 2008.

Nick Martinez (6-4) allowed two hits in five scoreless innings and San Diego struck out a season-high eight.

“It’s disappointing,” Martinez said. “There are a lot of lessons to be learned this year; good lessons and bad lessons. Just remember this taste and there will be some hunger next year.”

This report used information from The Associated Press.

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