Padres Blow It, But Buoyed By Blanks Bombs

USA TODAY Sports

Padres fall back to .500 at 6-6 after losing to the Rangers in a walk off win for Texas in Surprise.

I had to stretch my alliteration a bit for the article title. Kyle Blanks did hit a traditional bomb when he homered in the 5th inning, but he also bombed a fly ball to left field that was caught and allowed Gregorio Petit to score. I liked the B's, so I went with it. There were other B's in the game. John Baker and Travis Buch got starts, Brad Boxberger and Brad Brach pitched a scoreless inning a piece (each allowing a base on balls). There was a blown save by Matt Stites as referenced in the title. The Rangers also had one of the Astros' killer B's in Lance Berkman along with Jeff Baker, Engel Beltre, Julio Borbon, Brad Snyder and Brandon Allen. Had enough? Okay, me too.

One of the main story lines for this game was Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults. While it's entirely possible that his 2012 performance with the Friars assured him of a spot in the starting rotation, I think Padre fans still want to see something out of him that shows that last season wasn't just a fluke. This is a guy that was only an on-again-off-again major leaguer until he starting hurling baseballs at Petco Park. His day lasted 3 innings after working hard in the first inning and allowing two runs, which put the Padres behind 2-0 early. He was certainly not fooling anyone (he rarely does) and recorded zero strikeouts while allowing 2 hits and a walk. Not exactly something to write home about, but if this had been a regular season start where he allowed 2 in the first and then settled down and went his usual 5 or 6 then that's the kind of effort you can live with from him.

The bats waited until the 5th inning to get started as that 2-0 deficit stayed stuck to the scoreboard until then. That's when Blanks went yard. The pitch was a very straight fastball from lefty Niel Cotts. The kind of stuff Blanks eat for lunch in Spring Training. The next runs came in the 7th when Jesus Guzman got hit for a pitch and Bud Black chose to pinch run for him with the speedy prospect Rico Noel. Noel stole 90 bases for the Lake Elsinore Storm last year. He would steal two bases in this game including one in the 7th. Gregorio Petit knocked him in with a double where he was able to advance to 3rd when Noel knocked the ball away sliding into home. Then came Blanks' second RBI with a sac fly. 4-2 Padres.

The Rangers would come back with a run off of Kevin Quackenbush in the 8th and then 2 off of losing pitcher Matt Stites in the 9th. Stites was almost able to work out of the game and had an 0-2 count on the final batter with 2 outs. But, alas a single drove in the deciding run and the Padres ended up losers in Surprise.Padres fall back to .500 at 6-6 after losing to the Rangers in a walk off win for Texas in Surprise.

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