You’d have been forgiven if you turned off this afternoon’s game before the ninth inning. Hell, the way the Padres have played this season, you’d have been forgiven for not tuning in in the first place. Sloppy defense and mediocre pitching made defeat seem certain, but Hunter Renfroe was having none of it. His ninth inning grand slam put the Friars on top and capped off a day that saw him go 2-for-4 with a walk and one awesome bat flip.
But the day didn’t start so well. In the second inning, Travis Shaw got aboard with a one out single. It wasn’t a big deal, especially when Jonathan Schoop hit a grounder to third immediately after. Cory Spangenberg flipped it to Jose Pirela, who got the out at second... and then blew the throw to first, allowing Schoop to reach second. He had no problem scoring when Manny Pina lined a double into left field.
Pirela did help claw back that run in the fourth. Franmil Reyes hit a one-out double, and Spangy drew a walk to bring up Pirela. He grounded a single into right, plating Reyes and tying the game. Freddy Galvis drew a walk to load the bases, but A.J. Ellis struck out and Robbie Erlin grounded out to end the inning.
Erlin didn’t make a particularly seamless transition from the batter’s box to the mound after that. He gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the fourth, and then the Brewers pulled off a double steal. Schoop laced a double into second, and the Padres were down by two with nobody out. Robbie retired the next two batters, and Schoop might have been stranded... except Freddy Galvis muffed a ground ball off the bat of Lorenzo Cain, allowing Schoop to score and Cain to reach first safely. A pickoff ended the inning, but the Padres were down by three.
Galvis joined Pirela in the redemption club with a solo shot in the sixth, but they were still two runs shy of Milwaukee as the ninth inning rolled around. But fortunately for the Friars, Corey Knebel just could not find the strike zone, as he walked the bases loaded to start the frame. Travis Jankowski cut the deficit to one run when he hit a high chopper for an infield single. That ended Knebel’s night before he even recorded an out. Joakim Soria didn’t suffer the same indignity, as he immediately got Eric Hosmer to pop out. But that brought Hunter Renfroe to the plate. After falling behind in the count, Hunter got a fastball high and inside, and he sent it screaming into the left field stands. Soria left with an injury after the play, and Reyes added some insult by taking replacement Jacob Barnes deep to right. Craig Stammen took over in the bottom of the ninth to retire three straight for a happy flight back home.
Hot prospect Jacob Nix will be making his big league debut tomorrow as the Padres open a three game set against the Phillies. First pitch at 7:10 PM.