I’m going to get this out of the way right now. The Padres lost tonight because Carlos Villanueva pitched a disastrous sixth inning, allowing the Orioles to score seven runs while batting around. Erik Johnson wasn’t great, and the offense struggled against Ubaldo Jimenez. Even some of the early opportunities they had were wasted due to baserunning mistakes. But Melvin Upton, Jr. reminded us tonight that BJ has without a doubt still got it.
The Friars fell behind early when hometown hero Adam Jones hit a leadoff homer, but Upton made the Charm City center fielder’s dinger look downright cheap when he took his own shot in the bottom half of the first. He drove the ball to dead center, where it hit the batters eye. The original distance estimate by the Padres had it at 432 feet. They later revised that to 444 feet, but even that was underselling it. MLB’s Statcast has both the details and the GIF for your enjoyment.
465 feet later, this @MelvinUptonJr homer landed. https://t.co/gw8KG8f0pL #Statcast pic.twitter.com/rbtIsCTKte— #Statcast (@statcast) June 29, 2016
Nope. That GIF just isn’t enough. You need to see the video, because that was one of the most amazing bombs in Petco Park history.
And Upton wasn’t anywhere close to done. In the second inning he went all Mike Trout on J.J. Hardy, running nearly a hundred feet to pull a would-be homer back over the center field wall and then double up Mark Trumbo at first.
He wasn’t done flashing the leather just yet. In the third inning, he picked up some grass stains to rob Hyun Soo Kim of a leadoff hit. That was the end of the good times.
Jonathan Schoop led off the fourth with a double, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly. Baltimore never relinquished that lead. Hardy and Kim got their revenge in the fifth, with Hardy leading off the inning with a single and scoring on Kim’s bomb to right field. Then there was that sixth, which was just an all around disaster. The less said about that, the better.
The Friars tried to make the game look less futile in the late innings. Alexei Ramirez led off the seventh with a double, and Ryan Schimpf followed up by drawing a walk. Two outs later, Wil Myers hit his eleventh home run of June, a soaring fly ball that just kept carrying until it landed in the right field stands.
Schimpf was part of the final rally in the ninth inning, too. It took a challenge by Andy Green, but he was awarded first on a beanball. Two outs later, Wil Myers got a free bag the less painful way. Pinch hitter Adam Rosales hit a two-run double, before scoring on another double by Yangervis Solarte. That brought the good guys within slam range, but Alex Dickerson struck out to end the game.
The quick interleague series wraps tomorrow afternoon, with Christian Friedrich taking the mound at 12:40 PM.