For the second game in a row, the Padres walked off against a division leading team in their quest to ruin everything. Andrew Cashner excelled in his return to Petco Park, allowing just a single run on 6 hits in 6 innings. He had his out pitches working tonight, too, as he struck out an impressive eight Dodgers. LA starter Dan Haren wasn't in shutdown mode, but he also turned in a quality six-inning start. But this really came down to a battle of endurance, as the bitter rivals struggled for over four hours before the Friars triumphed over their former teammate Kevin Correia.
But, as always, the joy lies in the journey as much as the destination, so let's see how our boys got to their extra innings walkoff. Yasmani Grandal started his evening with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second. Jedd Gyorko would reach safely when Dee Gordon made a throwing error (more like E Gordon, am I right). The error allowed the runners to advance to second and third, with no outs. Rene Rivera, riding high from his heroism on Wednesday night, hit a sacrifice fly to bring Yaz home. Unfortunately, Jedd never got past second base (this is not a euphemism).
The Dodgers didn't take that lying down. Justin Turner and A.J. Ellis led off the top of the third with a pair of back to back singles to put the tying run on second with no outs. Cashner managed to strike out the next two batters, but he lost the lead when Hanley Ramirez drove a double into right field to knot things at one. The tie didn't last long, as the hometown crew put together a solid two-out rally in the fourth. Rivera got things started with a line drive single to center. Two more singles from Rymer Liriano and Alexi Amarista brought him home and put the Padres on top once again.
That lead lasted much longer, but once again it was Hanley Ramirez who made a mess of things. The Dodger shortstop watched three fastballs go by in the eighth inning without moving his bat. But he liked the fourth pitch Dale Thayer offered, an 83 mph slider. Ramirez hammered the ball to left field to tie things up one more time.
The next few innings saw a handful of runners reach scoring position, but neither team would budge. The game would remain tied until the bottom of the twelfth. Amarista led off with another single and moved into scoring position when Yangervis Solarte drew a walk. A wild pitch put the winning run 90 feet from home plate with just one out. Abraham Almonte fought through a seven-pitch at bat to draw a walk, bringing up Seth Smith. That led Don Mattingly to take some extreme measures.
Smith grounded into a force out, with Gordon throwing Amarista out at home. Smith hustled hard though and beat the throw back to first, giving Grandal one more shot to win the game. Correia offered him seven sliders in a row, and he connected just enough on the last one, sending a grounder right between first and second base. Game over; everybody go home and get some rest. The Padres have now won three in a row, bouncing back nicely from a rough road trip.
Ian Kennedy will try to make it four in a row as he takes on Zack Greinke tomorrow at 5:40 PM. Get to the ballpark early to see Trevor Hoffman inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame.
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