Tonight’s Padres game was destined to be a little unusual, as the evening started with a large covering over the infield. Our sources have told us it’s commonly referred to as a “tarp.” For some reason the grounds crew was having trouble removing it in a timely fashion, so the first pitch was delayed until some time after 8:00. That’s when Paul Clemens took the mound for one of his best starts of the season. He’s had a lot of trouble in the fifth inning this year, but tonight he took a shutout into the sixth inning. Offensively, Adam Rosales took the lead, providing four of the team’s five RBI out of his number six spot in the lineup.
The Padres offense got in gear in the second inning, but it wasn’t pleasant for at least one player: Archie Bradley beaned Ryan Schimpf to put the leadoff man on base. It must not have stung too badly, as Schimpf tore around the basepaths when Alex Dickerson laced a double into left field. That put the good guys up one-nil. The same two players combined with Rosales to add to that lead in the fourth inning. Schimpf drew a leadoff walk, and then held at third on Dickerson’s second double. A sacrifice fly from Rosales brought Schimpf the final 90 feet.
The Diamondbacks bit back in the sixth inning, but they needed a little help to do it. Clemens retired the first two batters easily, but Luis Sardiñas blew the play that should have been the third out. That brought Paul Goldschmidt to the plate, and he did what he does best. He hammered his 21st bomb of the season into the bullpen to tie the game.
It didn’t last long. Schimpf got another free pass to start the bottom half of the inning, and then Rosales came to the plate with one out and some fire in his bat. The 33-year old continued to improve his career-best season by digging out a low cutter and launching it high into the oddly humid San Diego night sky. On most nights, that high fly ball might have landed a few steps in front of the warning track, but tonight it sailed right past the left field fence to put the Padres back on top.
And Rosales still wasn’t done! Wil Myers led off the eighth with his 28th double of the year, and then with one out, Dominic Leone intentionally walked Dickerson, either to set up the double play or take advantage of the righty-righty matchup against Rosales. It didn’t work out for Leone. Myers swiped third base (his 26th theft), and then Rosales hit his second sac fly of the night. Brandon Maurer mopped things up in the ninth, and the Padres got themselves a series win.
Tomorrow night, Luis Perdomo will try to bring his winning percentage up to .500 as the team tries to secure their first sweep against a team not from San Francisco. First pitch at 6:10 PM, assuming there are no more weather shenanigans.