Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Put Those Brooms Away…
May 25, 2012, 16:05
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Memphis Redbirds wouldn’t slip off quietly into the sunset as Tucson went for a series sweep last night.  Drat!  Thus endeth our first three-game winning streak…and now it’s on to Tacoma.

Thursday, 24 May:  Tucson 6, Memphis 7.  Actually, this was an exciting game to follow.  Sure a Tucson win is always special (perhaps because they’re relatively rare), but there’s still something compelling and fun about a tightly contested match between two teams, regardless of who comes out on top in the end.  After Tucson just dominated the Redbirds in the previous three games, last night’s game showed that the Redbirds, too, can play ball with the best of them.  Previously underwhelming C Bryan Anderson nearly broke a PCL record as he went six for six at the plate (I think the record for hits in a game by any one player is seven), with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs-scored.  And about those runs-scored…every time Anderson came up, he was followed by 2B Pete Kozma.  The first two times Anderson went to the plate, got a hit, and reached base, Kozma followed with a homer to bring both guys in to score.  In fact, for the first six innings, those two Redbirds accounted for ALL of Memphis’ runs.  That Tucson had ANY runs in the corresponding period is largely due to some luck and an error by the Redbirds in the bottom of the second inning:  after Matt Clark flied out, Yasmani Grandal hit a double, Daniel Robertson hit a single, and Beamer Weems reached first, credited with a single, but there was an error on the play:  had the error not occurred, Memphis most certainly could’ve turned two to end the inning.  Instead, Grandal scored, and the inning continued.  Jonathan Roof hit an RBI single and starting pitcher Jorge Reyes earned an RBI on a successful sacrifice squeeze bunt.  Three runs for Tucson – at the time that put the good guys up by one run!  But Anderson/Kozma did their thing in the fourth again to retake the lead by one run.  Nothing until the seventh; but then the Redbirds teed off on our reliever, Jason Ray.  After getting the leadoff man to take the first pitch for a fly out, Ray allowed two consecutive doubles to score one run, got a K for the second out, and then allowed Anderson to get another RBI double…walked Kozma and gave up a single to former T-Pad Cedric Hunter.  But a bit of incredible defense by RF Sawyer Carroll to C Grandal:  Anderson was thrown out at home plate trying to score on Hunter’s single.  Good one, Sawyer!    BUT, Memphis had added another two runs to their lead!  On to the bottom of the eighth inning.  New reliever in for Memphis and new life for Tucson.  Clark hit a double, Grandal brought him home on a single, D-Rob got a single, Weems walked, Kyung-Min Na got an RBI on a fielder’s choice, and then pinch-hitter Anthony Contreras faced another reliever before getting an RBI single.  Logan Fosythe followed: when a wild pitched advanced Anthony, the Redbirds issued Logan an intentional walk.  Smart of them:  Sawyer then ground into a double play.  BUT!  Tucson had tied the game at six!  Brad Boxberger came in to face the Birds in the ninth and shut them down one-two-three.  And then came the heartbreak of an incredible defensive play by Memphis LF Mark Hamilton in the bottom of the ninth as he reached over the wall to retrieve a long, high, and deep ball off Jedd Gyorko’s bat…stealing a home run from the T-Pads and wrenching away a walk-off win.  But man, what a play!  Nothing for Tucson in the ninth – on to extras!  Boxberger took the tenth and managed to get out of it with no runs-allowed in spite of a hit and an error…but Tucson also went down quietly in the bottom of the frame.  T-Pad Manager Terry Kennedy sends our “perfect pitcher,” Erik Hamren in for the 11th.  He struck out the first two batters, but then allowed three consecutive singles…and the FIRST run he’d allowed in AAA this season.  Then he got a final strikeout to end the inning.  But now Memphis was ahead again…both teams running out of bench players to do pinch-hitting duty…getting late (and Tucson had to make a 4:30am flight to Tacoma in just a short while!)…  Memphis sends in Adam Reifer to take the bottom of the 11th.  Logan struck out, but Carroll followed with a walk!  Man on base:  there’s hope!  But then Jedd ground out and Matt flied out and the game was over.  Memphis could not be swept this time.

Transactions and Injury Report.  After getting hit by a pitch in Wed’s game, INF Cody Decker was not in the lineup last night.  He apparently had an x-ray during the day yesterday and TK was taking it day-to-day.  Decker did not come into last night’s game at any point

T-Pads on the Road for a Short Time…   Tucson has flown up to Pacific Northwest country to face the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) for a quick, four-game series.  Our Pads will return to Kino for a four-game stand versus the Los Vegas 51s (AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) on Tuesday, May 29th.  You can check the promotions for the next homestand here .

(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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