Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Reversal of Fortune
May 3, 2012, 16:58
Filed under: Uncategorized

On the night following a shocking ninth inning collapse, the Tucson Padres collected themselves, dug deep and pulled off an amazing ninth inning VICTORY over the visiting Tacoma Rainiers!  Final score:  Tucson 9, Tacoma 8.  Since this is a rare three-game series, the T-Pads actually have a chance to win the series if they can pull off another two-game winning streak tonight at Kino Stadium.  I can’t wait to get to the ballpark and see if they can do it!

Wednesday nights are my favorite night to go to games at Kino…  I love the Wiener Wednesday specials and GM Mike Feder’s creative and generous Social Media specials.  Unfortunately, my Wednesday nights August through May are set aside for church choir rehearsals – I have to wait until June for my next Wed window of opportunity!  But last night’s starter for the Rainiers, Jarrett Grube,  pitched slow enough and my rehearsal was brief enough (don’t tell our director that her substitute let us out early!  he he!) that I was able to catch the last half of the game on Tejano Radio 1600.  To that point, broadcaster Tim Hagerty informed us, the game had been a back-and-forth affair:  Tucson took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second (solo homers by James Darnell and Vince Belnome – it was Vince’s first in AAA!) and Tacoma went ahead with four runs in the third; Tucson halved the difference with another run in the fourth and then I was listening to hear Beamer Weems score another two runs with his two-out, two-run homer – HIS first homer in AAA, too – in the fifth.  Tucson ahead again!  But not for long, as Tacoma put up another two-spot in the top of the sixth, off reliever Jason Ray.  No runs for Tucson in the bottom of the frame.  Ray was greeted in the top of the seventh by a solo homer by Rainier Trayvon Robinson, but got three outs on the next three batters to end the threat.  Beamer got an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Tacoma still led by a run.  The top of the eighth proved worrying for Tucson fans, as Ray, and Brad Boxberger, issued four consecutive two-out walks to drive in another Rainier run, before Boxberger got a welcome groundout to end the inning.  Fortunately, Tucson had another come-back in them!  In the bottom of the eighth, Darnell got a single, followed by a single off Sawyer Carroll’s bat, and then Vince whacked out his fourth hit of the game:  a single to score James!  Not done yet!  Still only one out!  Matt Clark to the plate – he strikes out, but Tacoma follows with a pitching change and Beamer continued the charge with an RBI bloop single scoring Sawyer!  Game tied again!  Daniel Robertson struck out to end the inning.  But we’re tied!  Manager Terry Kennedy makes a pitching change – Brad Brach will take the ninth for Tucson.  Regardless of his meltdown the previous night, this was the right move.  And as if to prove that, Brad gets out of the ninth with only one hit and no runs.  As if to say, “Yes, THAT is how I do it!”  Redemption for Brach!  So, Tucson on offense in the ninth…Everth Cabrera starts off with a groundout, but Yasmani Grandal takes a walk, and up comes Anthony Contreras.  Anthony came into the game when Carlos Quentin went out after three innings in LF (on rehab, they’re cautiously building up his strength, so he’s not anywhere near a complete game yet) and had been solid.  Anthony hit a double to score Grandal – the winning run! – and ran straight into the dugout, where the T-Pads converged to celebrate a walk-off win!  What a game!  Tons of hits (in fact, Tucson had 18 total hits – five over their previous high for the season) and lots of homers (three for each team).  Both Belnome and Weems had four-hit games – the first four-hit game of the season for the Padres.  Brad Brach earned his second win of the season (a night after being tagged with his first loss).  I’ve probably said it before, but I mean it now (!!): I think things are coming together for these guys!  I can’t wait to see them tonight!

The “Has Been” Still Has It!  There may have been some questions about Jeff Suppan’s future in the game after his iffy starts here in Tucson…if you were one of those with questions, know this:  Jeff went five innings last night at Milwaukee.  In those innings, he allowed NO runs on four hits and two walks.  Two Big League Ks!  He earned his first win in the Bigs since 2010 – topping the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo.  (An aside:  Blake Tekotte has had a couple pinch-hit appearances in the Bigs – nothing to show for it yet.  Additionally, our Dale Thayer has pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Parent Unit!)

Transactions and Injury Report.  Nothing new to report.

Fun Homestand Continues!!   The T-Pads conclude this series with the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners AAA affiliate) tonight –and it’s Thirsty Thursday!!  Beginning tomorrow night, the T-Pads face the Sacramento River Cats for four games in three days.  Check out the great promotion on May 5th for Cinco de Mayo:  the Park will open at noon for a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, followed by a double-header versus Sacramento.  You can check out all the upcoming promotions here.  The Padres staff has a lot of neat events planned for this homestand – get on out there and support your local professional baseball team!  I’ll see you there!

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


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