Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson


T-Pads Beat Reno!
July 7, 2011, 17:25
Filed under: Uncategorized

In spite of the threatening weather in NW Tucson, I decided to head for Kino last night to watch the final of this three-game series between the Tucson Padres and the former Tucson Sidewinders, now the Reno Aces.  It turned out to be a wonderful decision:  lovely night (with enough breeze to make the rather hot, humid evening seem nearly pleasant) with a gorgeous sunset and nary a drop of rain in sight!  And the most wonderful thing:  a T-Pad victory! 

July 6th – Tucson 6; Reno 3.  The game did not start well for our current Tucson team.  Not because our starter, Jeremy Hefner, was bad, but because the Ace’s starter, Zach Kroenke, was throwing aces.  In the first inning, the T-Pads went down K, K and groundout.  I was afraid we’d never figure him out, he was that good.  And, in the meantime, the T-Pads let the Aces get ahead, three – zip (all in the third inning, and only two runs earned, thanks to an errant throw into the OF by our catcher).  But by the fourth inning, the tables had turned and from then on the game was all Padres!  I have to believe that we have Aaron Cunningham to thank for turning the tables and shifting momentum over to our side.  Aaron ended up four for four (that’s batting 1.000!), with two doubles, a single, and a solo homer (which went back-to-back with a homer from AA-promotee James Darnell) – one RBI and two runs scored!  Aaron took the spotlight off 1B Kyle Blanks for the evening.  And a good thing, too.  Kyle went one for four.  His one hit was a double – and enough to extend his hitting streak to an amazing 22 games! – but he was thrown out on the play as he tried to extend the double into a triple.  Bad base-running decision, but the hit still stands!  Jarrett Hoffpauir was also on last night:  two for three with two doubles and two runs scored.  The middle of our batting order is solid!  C Guillermo Quiroz may have “only” been one for three, but one of his hits brought in two of our six runs – that’s production!  Hefner took the win in the contest – his sixth – for six innings of four hit ball (four walks, four Ks…and the Reno runs all charged to him). 

Timely Warning…Thanks, TK!  As usual, I took my old mitt to the game to pretend to protect myself and my friends from foul balls shooting down the 3B side of the park.  Usually, when a batter is facing us (a left hander) I put on my glove and stay alert…when I see the batter’s back, well, not so much.  That is until Manager Terry Kennedy walked over to us when Kyle Blanks first came up to the plate.  TK looked at the kids and adults in our area and suggested we be alert because Kyle is known to pull everything our way.  I simply hadn’t seen enough of him yet to know this was true.  But yup!  First ball Kyle hit went foul on the ground HARD right in front of us on the field.  That’s where they went, time after time.  And I thought, you know, Terry is managing a game…nine players on the field…pitchers…a whole bunch of variables and always something to attend to on the field.  And yet, he took the time to warn the fans to watch for foul balls?  Pretty incredible.  What a GREAT guy! 

Transactions.  San Diego activated pitcher/reliever, Luke Gregerson, from the DL.  He pitched effectively for them last night.  INF Andy Parrino has been assigned to AA San Antonio from Tucson.  The Arizona Daily Star reports Andy is to fill in for San Antonio SS Beamer Weems, who was hit by a pitch on Tuesday and has a fractured orbital bone (ouch!).  Bobby Kielty has rejoined the T-Pads from San Antonio while the team is in Fresno. 

Field Maintenance.  So…while the team’s away the landscapers at Kino Stadium are ripping up the infield grass to replant and make it more playable for the team’s return later this month.  The field looked pretty bad last night, so this is a good thing.  I’m glad management is taking this team seriously enough to take such drastic measures to protect the players and the game itself.  

Coming Up Next…   The T-Pads are on the road again…  They’ll have a four-game series at Fresno Grizzlies beginning tonight.  That will be the final series before the AAA All-Star break.  Check local Promos here.  

(Disclaimer – This posting has not been reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Toros, the Reno Aces, the Tucson Padres, Tucson AAA Baseball, Diamondbacks, Padres, PCL, MiLB, MLB, Golden Baseball League, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)

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