USA TODAY Sports
An efficient Anthony Bass + A big 4th inning + A Gyorked out insurance run = A Padres win.
Anthony Bass toed the slab in his first start of the year and hurried through the opposition. He need only 16 pitches to retire 6 batters (and give up one hit) in his 2 scoreless innings of work. Jose De Paula, now freed of the visa issues that cost him the 2012 season, also pitched two innings. He gave up two runs in his first inning of work after an error by Alexi Amarista started a rally that continued with a Chris Heisey triple and a Shin Soo Choo RBI single. Southpaw non roster invitee Arturo Lopez worked a perfect 5th striking out 2 Reds along the way. Then, Joe Thatcher made an inauspicious debut to his 2013 season and had to be yanked after giving up three runs. His struggles were aided by fielding errors by Jonathan Galvez, who was playing in an unfamiliar postion of LF, and Jeudy Valdez. Fortunately, Brad Boxberger came in and cleaned up the mess while also working a perfect 7th inning. Matt Stites and Kevin Quackenbush finished the game off. Quackenbush had some struggles walking 2 and giving up a single. But, he was able to get a DP ball and the final out was recorded when Padres catcher Rene Rivera threw out a Reds running trying to steal second.
On the hitting front the bats were mostly quiet, aside from a Kyle Blanks single in the 3rd, until the 4th inning. It was then that unsuspecting 24 year old Pedro Villarreal entered the game for the Reds. Villarreal, who has only ever appeared in 1 major league game, gave up a double to Chase Headley to start the inning. The Padres then got 4 straight singles, two of which drove in runs to tie the game at 2 a piece. Blanks gave the Friars the lead with a sacrfice fly. Two more singles, by Amarista and Everth Cabrera, gave the Padres a 5-2 lead and chased Villarreal from the game. Headley would later finish off the rally he started by hitting a sac fly that progressed the lead to 6-2.
The Padres would tack on an insurance run in spectacular fashion, after Thatcher's aforementioned 6th inning struggles, when Jedd Gyorko entered the game as a pinch hitter to lead off the 8th inning. He was facing 28 year old career minor league left hander Wilkin De La Rosa. He drilled the first pitch he saw deep to right center. It cleared the fence to give him his 3rd home run in 10 at bats this Spring and cement the final score of 7-5. Start the hype machine on Jedd Gyorko.