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Spring Training: Padres fall to Reds, 8-7

Lots of scoring means some good moments for Padres hitters, but there were some ugly ones for the pitchers.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Bat flip? Hunter Renfroe prefers the “bat drop.”
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s spring training game featured the Padres visiting the Cincinatti Reds. Well, they were kinda the Goodyear Reds today, since they play their home ST games in Goodyear, AZ, but that’s just a technicality. Up to this point, most of the non-split-squad lineups that Andy Green has posted have been reasonably similar to what we may expect come the regular season. That certainly was not the case today. Now this here is a fine spring training lineup:

By my count, the only “regular” position players here are Jankowski, Spangenberg, and Renfroe. The rest of these guys are in a MLB roster death cage match, with the losers being thrown out into the minor leagues like folding chairs.

The good guys got off to a hot start. Cory Spangenberg got the action going in the first inning with a double, and Hunter Renfroe did what he does best, violently obliterating a baseball into Souvenir City for a two-run homer, his first of the spring. Oh the humanity, as the children scrambled to recover the scorched horsehide that Renfroe rained down upon their motherland. The Reds countered in typical small-ball fashion, with Billy Hamilton lacing a single up the middle, then stealing second, then scoring on a Joey Votto single. The score was 2-1 after one frame. Jabari Blash, Franchy Cordero, and Jamie Romak got embarrassed in the second inning as they were all sat down via strikeout on nine total pitches - an immaculate inning for Reds pitcher Cody Reed. The Padres would go on to score again in the top of the third with some small-ball of their own. Allen Cordoba worked a walk, then advanced to second on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt. He got to third on a Travis Jankowski groundout, then came home on a bunt attempt from Cory Spangenberg. The Padres led through three by a 3-1 score.

Padres starter Clayton Richard started off well with one earned run through three innings pitched, but his start took a turn in the fourth. He gave up a single followed by a two-run homer from Zack Cozart before being lifted for Carlos Fisher. Fisher gave up one more run in the frame, putting the reds up 4-3 through four innings.

Craig Stammen relieved Fisher and pitched a scoreless fifth inning. The veteran reliever got married in the offseason, and while the new couple was on their honeymoon his bride made a hole-in-one that he caught on video, and the event went viral. Back in the baseball world, Hector Sanchez is quietly having a nice spring, and he kept things rolling with a solo shot in the top of the sixth to tie the game at four apiece. The second shift took the field for the bottom of the sixth in the form of a handful of defensive replacements plus the versatile Christian Bethancourt on the mound. He quickly got himself in a bind with back-to-back singles, then a wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position. He worked his way out of the jam, minimizing the damage to one run. Sadly, this brought an end to his hitless and scoreless spring campaign. Reds led 5-4 through six.

Jose Torres has his own scoreless streak going, adding one inning from today’s game for a total of five scoreless appearances so far this spring. He was the pitcher of record when the Padres opened the scoring up again in the top of the eighth. Rafael Ortega and Tony Cruz singled to start off the inning, then minor league outfielder Edwin Moreno took Michael Lorenzen deep for a three-run dinger. The Quack Attack was called to pitch the bottom of the eighth, but Kevin Quackenbush failed to lower his spring ERA, as he gave up a leadoff home run to Zach Vincej. That’s two homers to guys names Zach in this game for those of you scoring at home... or even if you’re alone. Quack followed that up with a four-pitch walk, finally registered an out with a K, then another walk to put runners on second and third. Arismendy Alcantara hit a ground ball to first baseman Jamie Romak, who fired to second to start a double play attempt that went awry due to a throwing error by shortstop Allen Cordoba, allowing the runner to score from third. Christian Walker then tripled, knocking Alcantara home and running Quackenbush’s ugly inning up to three runs. It’s not looking good for old Quack, whose spring ERA has been turned up to eleven. The Padres put two runners on base in the ninth inning, but couldn’t even the score. The Reds won an ugly game 8-7.

The Padres have another 1:10 PDT game tomorrow, as they face the Kansas City Royals.

Luis Urias assigned to minor league camp

In other news, it was announced before the game that infielder Luis Urias has been reassigned to minor league camp, as he comes back from his WBC experience with Team Mexico. The promising young hitter will likely repeat in Lake Elsinore, where he won the California League MVP last season as the youngest player in the league.