There were doubters. When the lineup came out today the twitter grumbling may have been audible. With Jedd Gyorko away on paternity leave, Chase Headley on the DL and, of course, Carlos Quentin nowhere near San Francisco the team trotted out the best lineup it could. Manager Bud Black even made some ploys with right handers Xavier Nady and Tommy Medica inserted into the middle of the order to face the tough lefty Madison Bumgarner and spell Will Venable and Yonder Alonso. Unfortunately there was no room for switch hitting Yasmani Grandal with Rene Rivera scheduled again to catch for Tyson Ross. That would turn out to be a hitting boon rather than a bust. Sports talk radio host Darren Smith even, jokingly, saw it coming:
Prediction: Rene Rivera blasts two homers tonight, justifying the faith this organization has put in him.— Darren Smith (@DSmithShow) April 29, 2014
While not spot on, that was close. Rivera would hit a three run homer and a two run double to set a career high with five RBI in a single game. Others from the scrub brigade would pitch in as well. Tommy Medica got on base 3 times and scored twice. Alexi Amarista scored both times he got on; once via the hit and once via the walk and then drove in Will Venable in the 8th via a fielder's choice. Rookie Jace Peterson, in his second ever start, would go 2 for 4 and steal a base. It also seemed like near everyone got a walk as Bumgarner showed a rare wild streak in this one.
Despite the pretty picture the previous paragraph paints, the Padres did have some problems prevailing. Rivera's double gave the Friars an early lead in the 4th, but it was short-lived as Tyson Ross' own wildness both inside and outside the strike zone resulted in a 3-2 lead for the Giants by the time the inning was over. Rivera's 3 run home run would come in the very next frame, but a Brandon Hicks solo shot would bring San Francisco within one. Both Bumgarner and Ross would wiggle out of other jams that could have made the game an even higher scoring affair. Alex Torres and Nick Vincent helped Ross get out of one in the 6th. After that the Padres bullpen flipped on its now accustomed cruise control with Vincent taking the 7th as well, Joaquin Benoit in the 8th and Huston Street earning his 10th save to coast to a 6-4 victory.
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