Some games are won by pitching. Others are won by defense. But today, the Padres won in the most classic of ways: By dropping a massive bomb on their opponents. Hunter Renfroe only appeared as a pinch hitter this afternoon, but he made it count by putting a dent in the Western Metal Building while the bases were full of Padres. Tyson Ross deserves credit for keeping the game close until Hunter took his place at the plate, and the bullpen held that lead by only allowing one run for the final four innings.
Tyson gave up the first of his two runs in the top of the second. He was having trouble locating his fastball against Eugenio Suarez, so he went to his slider after falling behind in the count. But he hanged it, and Suarez banged it for a leadoff homer. The second run came in the top of the fifth, when the Reds hit a trio of singles to plate Jesse Winker.
The Friars had a couple singles of their own in the bottom half of the innings, as Franmil Reyes and Freddy Galvis led off with a pair of base hits. Manuel Margot drew a walk after fighting through a 9-pitch at bat to load the bases. Raffy Lopez hit a grounder back to pitcher Luis Castillo, and Reyes was out at home on the force. But the bases were still loaded when Renfroe came in to hit for Tyson Ross. After falling behind 0-2, Hunter got the pitch he wanted when Castillo floated an 80 mph slider right into the dead center of the zone. He drilled it into the second deck of the Western Metal Building, putting the Friars on top 4-2.
The bottom of the sixth brought another run for the good guys, but it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, as Christian Villanueva left the game with a bruised ankle. After Cory Spangenberg grounded out in Christian’s place, Reyes singled to start a small rally. He moved into scoring position on a ground out. Margot got an intentional walk with two outs, as Wandy Peralta tried to increase his options for a force out and make quick work of Raffy Lopez. It didn’t pan out for the Reds, as Lopez hit a single up the middle to plate Reyes.
Cincinnati got one more run in the eighth, after Brad Hand lost an eight-pitch battle with Scooter Gennett. His homer to right didn’t faze the Padres, who answered back with a blast of their own a few minutes later. Spangenberg got some heat right down the middle, and he launched it deep into right field.
Kirby Yates gave up a few hits in the ninth, but the magic of a double play kept them from doing any damage and gave him his first save of the year.
After facing the worst in the NL Central, Clayton Richard will take on the best in the NL East as the Braves come to town tomorrow. First pitch at 7:10 PM.