Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

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July 16, 2012, 16:26
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After the AAA All-Star break, the Tucson Padres returned home to begin the first long homestand in quite awhile.  The Pads first faced the Fresno Grizzlies (SF Giants’ AAA affiliate) for four scheduled games…and will kick off four against the Reno Aces (DBacks AAA affiliate) beginning tonight.  I am finally returning from a vacation of my own, so owe you a quick catch up before returning to the regular grind!

Wednesday, July 11, AAA All-Star Game:  PCL 3; IL 0.   The Pacific Coast League all-stars beat the International League all-stars in the annual face-off between the best of the leagues in Buffalo NY last week.  Our own Daniel Robertson went one for one in the game and played CF from the sixth inning on.  Yay, D-Rob!

Thursday, July 12:  Tucson 6; Fresno 5.   There I was…in a hotel in Fresno, trying to find this game on the radio…and having no luck at all.  How strange to be on the opponent’s turf while the team is playing on our turf!  Finally, I was able to corral a seat on one of the lobby’s computers and caught the last half of the ninth inning on the computer’s (very slow) Gameday application.  I’d checked earlier and knew the game was tied five-five, after both teams broke out with four-run first innings but then only tagged on one run through the next seven innings.  So, bottom of the ninth…Daniel Robertson led off with a single, but PH Jesus Merchan followed with a pop-up, foul, bunt attempt for the first out in the inning.  Andy Parrino advanced D-Rob to 3B with a single, then stole second with Jeremy Hermida at the plate.  Hermida then walked.  Bases loaded and only one out!  Since I was in a public space IN Fresno, I tried to keep my enthusiasm in check as Jedd Gyorko stepped to the plate!  With the computer I was using, Gameday was painfully slow to update…he took a pitch and then the next pitch seemed to freeze with the result only showing:  “Ball in play; run(s) score.”  I waited and waited for the system to finalize the results…and finally gave up, knowing that with “run(s) scored” Tucson had won the game!  Friday’s Fresno Bee had the results:  “Tucson’s Jed Gyorko (sic) hit a ball off Dan Otero’s foot and Otero threw late to home as Daniel Robertson scored on a bases-loaded, one-out situation, lifting the Padres to a 6-5 victory over visiting Fresno at Kino Stadium.”  It turns out that Jedd was credited with an RBI fielder’s choice on the play:  way to go, Jedd (funny that the Bee would spell his “difficult” last name correctly, but misspell his first name!)!!  Tucson’s starting pitcher had been SD Padre Eric Stults, who joined Tucson for a rehab assignment.  Eric gave up four runs (three earned) in 2 2/3 innings – three hits, two walks, three Ks – and got a no-decision.  Erik Hamren took the win (his second) for pitching the ninth:  no runs on no hits, one walk, one K, and a hit batter.  Tucson committed three errors (none by Fresno) – hit two two-run homers (by Jedd and Vince Belnome, who is back off the DL with a vengeance!) both in the first inning – and turned a double-play.  Nice to start the second half of the season with a home win!

Friday, July 13:  Tucson 5; Fresno 8.  I still feel a bit of conflicted loyalty when a former Tucson Sidewinder plays against our current Tucson Padres team…I remember when I was blogging games in which Yusmeiro Petit was on the home team!  But not in Friday night’s game…now a Fresno Grizzly starter, Petit, did a pretty good job holding the T-Pads at bay; going seven innings and allowing Tucson only three runs (two earned) on five hits, one walk, and seven Ks.  On OUR side of the mound, it was another one of those rough outings for Matt Palmer, who took his sixth loss of the season for four innings of six-run ball.  Meanwhile, Tucson’s offense could only muster up seven hits:  Hermida and Belnome each accounted for two of those.  Matt Clark accounted for two of our RBIs, though he went one for four, with a run-scored, at the plate.  Tucson turned three double-plays (nice!) and committed no errors!  There were no homers in the game for either side (sadly, Tucson was unable to hit for extra bases at all in the game).  Jedd, who has only been in Tucson for half our season, was credited with his 51st RBI in the evening’s contest!  Wow!

Saturday, July 14:  Tucson 9; Fresno 5.  Tucson’s Jorge Reyes had a great start in this game, getting strikeout after strikeout in the early innings.  He ended his evening in the sixth, after looking more vulnerable in those final at-bats.  He allowed Fresno solo runs in the first, third and fifth…and had given up two more in the fifth to complete his line.  But here’s the impressive stat:  Jorge collected EIGHT strikeouts!  The record for Ks by one pitcher in the brief T-Pad history is ten: Jorge made a good run at that!  Nick Vincent relieved Jorge – suffered a blown save when he allowed the game to be tied after the top of the sixth, but earned a win when Tucson came back with another two runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead once again.  Tucson put up another two unanswered insurance runs in the eighth, cruising to a solid victory over Fresno.  Lots of Tucson offense to note:  D-Rob hit three doubles (wow!), and went four for five with two RBIs and a run-scored.  Jedd hit his 15th homer as a T-Pad and went three for four with three RBIs and two runs-scored.  Vince hit two doubles, went four for four, with one RBI.  Both Jedd and Sawyer Carroll stole a base.  NO errors in the game.  Rocky Gale got a chance to catch a game…he was credited with an unassisted double-play!  Rocky went oh for two at the plate, but took a walk, was credited with a sacrifice fly RBI, and scored a run.

Sunday, July 15:  Postponed – rain!  Two rather significant monsoon storms broke through the afternoon skies, dropping significant amounts of rain, causing some power outages, and postponing last night’s game.  Since Fresno will not be returning to Tucson for the duration of the season, the game will be made up during a series in Fresno sometime next month.

Transactions and Injury Report.   During the long break, a number of DLed T-Pads got well and returned to duty.  Josh Spence, Vince Belnome, and Beamer Weems have all been returned to active duty, leaving only pitchers Casey Kelly and Anthony Reyes and OF Blake Tekotte on the T-Pad DL.  San Diego has also sent LHP Eric Stults to Tucson for a major league rehab assignment.  Eric pitched in the first game of the Fresno series here in Tucson.  RHP Matt Jackson had been reassigned from Lake Elsinore to Tucson to start last night’s game:  with the rain postponement, I’m not sure if Matt’s still around today.

Homestand Continues Through Thursday!   The T-Pads will face the Reno Aces for the next four nights (assuming we get a break in the monsoon pattern we’re in!).  Great night at the Ballpark tonight as it’s KiiM-FM Family Four Pack night AND Jedd Gyorko Poster Giveaway night!  The first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a free 11” x 14” Collector’s Poster featuring Jedd Gyorko. This is the second poster giveaway of the series.

ARIZONA DAILY STAR POSTER GIVEAWAY NIGHT – The first 2,000 fans through the gates tonight will receive this free 11” x 14” Collector’s Poster featuring Jedd Gyorko.

Don’t forget that Tuesdays are always eegee’s Free Ticket Tuesdays:  stop by your favorite eegee’s restaurant in the Tucson area and get your FREE tickets to any Tuesday night game.  Check here for more information about July promotions at Kino Stadium.

(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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