After a pretty miserable showing in Friday’s series opener, the Padres put their bats to work today. They opened the afternoon by putting a crooked number on the board, and the Marlins were never able to get in front of the Friars. Tyson Ross was solid through five, and though he was pegged with three runs in the sixth, those were not entirely on him. And while Tyson may not have picked up the win himself, this marks his sixth straight start ending in victory. The Padres are now an impressive 10-3 when he toes the rubber.
While the Friars put up three runs in the first, they might have scored even more had Travis Jankowski not gotten greedy. He hit a single to start the game, but his attempt to stretch it into a double failed when right fielder Brian Anderson gunned him down. But Eric Hosmer started a proper rally when he hit a comebacker to Dan Straily (who stayed in the game after a visit from a trainer). Jose Pirela kept it going with another single, and a two-out base knock from Cory Spangenberg plated Hosmer and put Pirela on third. And then the Pads got a gift: J.T. Realmuto let a ball get past him, and Pirela had no trouble trotting home. But the cherry on top was that Spangy was stealing second on the pitch, and smartly moved along to third when he saw the loose ball. Freddy Galvis hit a double into left, and the good guys were up by three before Tyson even threw a pitch.
Ross gave up his first run when the Marlins put together a couple two-out knocks in the third. Starlin Castro hit a double into left, and a single in the same direction from Derek Dietrich put the Fish on the board. Galvis answered back in short order. He led off the top of the fourth with his third homer of the year and his second RBI of the day.
While the Padres had a commanding lead for most of the game, that all slipped away in the sixth. First, Dietrich led off with a bomb to center field. Ross bounced back by picking up his seventh punchout of the afternoon, but it would be the last batter he retired. Justin Bour hit a double, and Anderson put runners on the corners with a grounder up the middle. That was enough for Andy Green to go to the bullpen, but Craig Stammen didn’t exactly come in guns blazing. His very first pitch was in the dirt and got away from Raffy Lopez, and the lead was suddenly narrowed to a single run. Stammen eventually struck out Realmuto, and it looked like the tying run might be stranded at second. And the inning should have ended when a soft liner bounced its way toward Pirela... who knocked it away with his glove. That allowed Anderson to score and tie the game.
That’s the way things stayed until the eighth inning. Initially, it didn’t look promising for the Friars. Spangenberg and Galvis were both retired, bringing pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe to the plate with two outs. But he knocked a double into left field to keep the inning alive. Drew Rucinski intentionally walked Raffy Lopez to get to Matt Szczur, who took an interesting approach to the Miami reliever. He didn’t swing his bat once. But of the 6 pitches Szczur saw, 4 were balls, and the bases were loaded for Jankowski. A liner into shallow right field was only good for one run, but it ended up being the only one they would need. Brad Hand and Kirby Yates put together two perfect innings, securing the win and setting up a rubber match for tomorrow.
Get ready for some morning baseball, as Clayton Richard will take on José Ureña at 10:10 AM.