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Padres 7, Tigers 3: Hector Sanchez opens the floodgates

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The pinch hit home run started a huge inning.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres
Be careful with Scan’s perfect hair!
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres spent most of the evening locked in a back-and-forth battle with the Tigers. Dinelson Lamet put together a solid effort, holding Detroit to three runs (two earned) in his six innings and change on the mound. But with a runner on in the eighth inning, Hector Sanchez hit a two-run pinch-hit bomb in his first at bat since his return to the roster, starting off a five-run inning to secure the series win.

The scoring started under less than ideal circumstances. Allen Cordoba took a pitch to the wrist and left the game. There is good news on that front, though.

Chase d’Arnaud took over for Cordoba, and stole second with his pitcher at the plate. Lamet hit a bunt back to Annibal Sanchez, who got some instant karma after beaning Cordoba by airmailing the throw to third. d’Arnaud reached home easily.

The Tigers pulled ahead in the fifth on a free pass and a couple of errors. Former Friar Justin Upton drew a walk on four straight balls to start the inning. He scored on a one-out double from Andrew Romine, who went to third on a throwing error by Hunter Renfroe. Romine went on to score on the next play, when Austin Hedges missed the throw from d’Arnaud.

Jose Pirela helped the Padres draw even in the sixth. After a leadoff double, Carlos Asuaje moved him to third, and a sacrifice fly courtesy of Wil Myers tied things at two. The tie did not last. Lamet got yanked after giving up a double to Upton at the start of the seventh. Phil Maton showed that he is human after all, giving up a pair of singles and allowing Upton to score before ending the inning.

The eighth inning is when everything changed. Erick Aybar drew a leadoff walk, bringing up the pitcher’s spot. Hector Sanchez got tapped to hit for Kirby Yates, and after whiffing on the first pitch down the middle, Shane Greene gave him one more shot.

From there, it only got better. Asuaje hit a one-out single before Myers and Renfroe both walked to load the bases. A pair of singles by Cory Spangenberg and Austin Hedges plated all three runners to give the good guys a four-run lead. A perfect inning of relief from Craig Stammen wrapped things up and sent the crowd at Petco home happy.

Clayton Richard will try to wrap up the sweep when he takes the mound at 1:40 tomorrow afternoon.