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Padres 3, Brewers 2: Rene Rivera Crushes A Brewski

Denis Poroy

After an incredible defensive showing last night, Rene Rivera showed off his bat tonight. With a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth and the game-winning single in the tenth, he continues to show why he's such a valuable part of the Padres lineup. He also called a pretty nice game for starter Odrisamer Despaigne, who gave up just two runs (one unearned) in seven innings while striking out nine.

Odes and Yovani Gallardo spent the first six innings locked in a pitchers' duel, with each holding the opposition scoreless. Outside of jams that both hurlers worked their way out of in the fifth, there wasn't a whole lot of offense going on. But both teams started to slip in the seventh. Lyle Overbay (who, to my surprise, is not 45 years old) hit a one-out single. Elian Herrera brought him home on a double to right, and then went to third on the throw. Ron Roenicke sent Khris Davis to pinch hit, but he needn't have shut down Gallardo. A passed ball let Herrera score with no help from Davis. (Of course, Rene Rivera would more than make up for that mistake later.)

Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress ran into trouble immediately after taking the mound. Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable hit back to back singles. A pair of outs right after put the rally in jeopardy, so Bud Black sent Jake Goebbert up to the plate for Despaigne. His line drive brought Venable home and cut the deficit to one. That set up Rivera's ninth inning heroics. The studly catcher was the first to face Francisco Rodriguez, and he took a pair of fastballs for balls before finding his pitch. And, boy, did he find it. Rodriguez served him up another fastball, and Rene crushed it deep into the left field stands.

That brought us to bonus baseball. Seth Smith got things started by drawing a leadoff walk. Yasmani Grandal followed up with a single to put the winning run in scoring position. Buddy tried to play it safe by having Cameron Maybin bunt Smith over to third, but it didn't go as planned, with catcher Jonathan Lucroy nailing the throw to third to catch Smith. A line drive out by Rymer Liriano brought Rivera back to the plate with no room for error. And once again, Rene was pure clutch, knocking a single up the middle to bring Grandal home for the win.

The boys get a well-deserved day off tomorrow. When they come back Friday night, Andrew Cashner will face off against the Dodgers. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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