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An Improbable Start, and an Oh-So-Sweet Sweep of the Giants!

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A no-hit bid through six-plus, some timely offense, and a great outcome for the good guys!

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have had a rough draw against the Giants this season. In 12 matchups, our guys have drawn the steamroller front-end of Baumgarner-Cueto-Samardzjia eleven times. The first nine of those matchups were not kind to the Padres. The last three have been oh so sweet. Today’s game may have been the sweetest of all.

Edwin Jackson was signed about a month ago. He was waived by the Marlins and signed off the soup line by Preller. The move was hardly a footnote in the sports section at the time, but the veteran pitcher finally had a chance to bring his talents to the Padres today. It turned out to be a good day. We started out the day hoping that the newest Padre would be serviceable and keep us in the game. After a few innings, we were wondering if we might serve witness to a historic day. The unlikely Jackson held the Giants hitless through 6.1 innings! MLB.com had the pretty little "No-Hitter" icon hovering over the right side of a Padres game in the first time in a long time. He even helped his own cause, going two-for three and getting on base another time via error. Alas, Jackson’s night ended with a three-run home run to Connor Gillaspie. It wasn’t pretty; his five walks plus an error of his own made the outing adventurous, but a one-hit outing is certainly worth recognition. Here’s MLB.com’s recap:

Edwin Jackson’s Impressive Padres Debut

Johnny Cueto was the Giants’ starter today. He’s been dominant against the Padres so far this year, holding our guys to a .143 average and only one run through three games coming in to today’s matchup. The Padres found a way to get to him, though, as solo homers dinged him, several tough at-bats ran his pitch count up, and two inherited runners scored after his departure:

Matt Kemp’s solo homer

Christian Bethancourt’s solo blast

Ryan Schimpf extends lead with a single

Jackson helps his own cause

Gillaspie’s three-run dinger may have brought concern to the Friars’ faithful, but the bullpen locked the game down. Brad Hand to Ryan Buchter to Brandon Maurer may become a familiar sight, and tonight they handled the final two-and-a-third frames effectively, giving Edwin Jackson a very well-earned first win of his Padres tenure.

A Padres win is always nice. It’s particularly nice when it comes against a division rival such as the Giants. Today was especially nice, as today’s win secured a sweep against the Giants. After being swept in three previous series against our NorCal rivals, it felt even better for the Padres’ first series sweep to come against a team that had frustrated us so much in the first half of the season. The gauntlet of Baumgarner-Cueto-Samardzjia doesn’t seem so intimidating any more.

The Padres now travel to St. Louis, where they can wreak some havoc against the Cardinals. As Uncle Teddy pointed out during today’s game, the Padres have some playoff history against the Cards going back to 1996.  Each time the Padres have made the postseason without reaching the World Series, it was the Cardinals who eliminated them in the NLDS.  Let’s hope that the great mojo from All-Star Weekend can travel with our boys.