Padres Ride Cashner's One Hit, Near Perfect Game To Victory

Justin K. Aller

Andrew Cashner pitched a masterpiece, but the story of the game is how close he came to history.

After flirting with one no hitter yesterday, the Padres made eyes with another today. This time it was Andrew Cashner on the bump and dealing. Once again this flirtation turned into a pitchers duel as the opposing moundsman kept the Padres bats quiet for 6 innings. However, everything would change in the seventh frame.

With the Padres up in the 7th inning they began with two straight singles by Ronnie Cedeno and Rene Rivera. Andrew Cashner would bunt a remove the slow Rivera from the base paths with a force out at second that also got the lead runner to third. Will Venable would add to his team leading RBI total (53 after this plate appearance) with a sacrifice fly. Alexi Amarista would follow that with a loooong at bat that resulted in getting hit by an A.J. Burnett pitch. Jedd Gyorko, in front of his onlooking family who were in attendance, would single in another run as Andrew Cashner scored from second just beating the throw. The inning would end with the Friars up 2-0.

After the 7th inning stretch, Andrew Cashner returned to the mound. He had retired 18 straight and needed 9 more to complete the perfect game. Most Padres fans don't need a reminder that no pitcher in the club's history has thrown a no-hitter (nevermind a perfect game) despite some close calls and have been no hit 8 times. Cashner would give up a hit to Jose Tabata to start the bottom of the 7th, a solid single past the diving first baseman Tommy Medica, and would not quite join the upper echelon of famous close calls of Clay Kirby, Steve Arlin, Andy Ashby, Chris Young and the 8 2/3 inning combined no hit bid of Aaron Harang, Josh Spence, Chad Qualls, Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson, but it still felt like it was close. Probably because that one Tabata hit was the only one he'd give up en route to a complete game shutout where, because of a double player later in the 7th, Cashner only faced the minimum 27 batters.

In the end, it was a still a victory for the good guys. A solid victory. Andrew Cashner's 10th victory on the season  His first complete game and his first shutout. He also stole a base and scored a run. The Padres also slide back into 3rd place in the NL West with their 69th victory as they now have the same wins total as the idle Giants, but one less loss.

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