Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Tucson/Tacoma Split First Two
July 25, 2012, 16:26
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Tucson Padres and the Tacoma Rainiers have already played two of the four games in their series at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.  Each team has won one game…by only ONE run!  Close and exciting games there in WA this week!  (And remember, Tacoma will be the Pads’ opponent when the team returns home this Saturday for a fun five-game homestand!)

Tuesday, 24 July:  Tucson 4; Tacoma 3.  Tucson’s offense in the second inning of last night’s game actually equaled and then exceeded their production in the entire final game vs. Sacramento, as the team got two doubles to lead off the inning (one was for an RBI – thanks to Jeremy Hermida), followed by a single.  However, the team didn’t totally burn up the hit column…they actually got only four hits, walked three times, and were struck out 14 times!  Remind me how they won this one…  Oh yes, it came in what was a rare sloppy inning for the Tacoma pitching staff and defense:  the first two runners reached on walks (Matt Clark and Hermida again), Matt reached second on a wild pitch during Jeremy’s AB, then both Jeremy and Matt advanced a base on a wild pitch tossed with Vince Belnome at the plate!  Vince ended up with a sacrifice fly for an RBI – and an error allowed Jeremy to advance to third.  Anthony Contreras then whacked out an RBI double – he made it to third on yet another wild pitch to batter Sawyer Carroll!  Sawyer then sat down on strikes and Rocky Gale came up to bat.  Rocky should’ve been out at first, but another crucial error by Tacoma gave him the base AND scored an unearned run.  Andy Parrino ended the inning with a K.  So, Tucson now with four total runs – ahead by two (Tacoma’s Nick Franklin brought in two with a single in the third) and pitchers generally in control of the game.  Padres starter, Jorge Reyes allowed another Rainier run in the fifth (Darren Ford with an RBI double), closing the gap to one run between the two teams.  But that’s where the score would stay!  Relievers Nick Vincent, Cory Burns (who continues his incredible “no runs allowed in the eighth” streak!), and Erik Hamren combined to close out the game Jorge started.  J-Reyes – six innings, three runs on five hits/four walks/five Ks – earned his seventh win of the season; Hamren his seventh save.  Out of Tucson’s four hits, three were doubles (smacked out by Clark, Hermida, and Contreras).  Tucson also turned two very timely double-play balls!   Tip of my cap to Tacoma’s reliever, Brian Moran:  he pitched to eight Padres and struck out six of them!

Wednesday, 25 July:  Tucson 3; Tacoma 4.  The teams faced off in an early day game (allowing kids camps to attend) and once again the Padres were stifled when it came to reaching base.  Tacoma starter, Erasmo Ramirez, was really dealing!  But, thankfully for the Padres, Erasmo was limited to only three innings (he’s recently returned from The Show where he was used as a reliever…so needs to stretch back out, as they say).  In those three innings, he allowed no runs or walks and only two hits!  Meanwhile, during those same three innings, our starter, Matt Palmer, struggled a bit to find his groove.  Tacoma scored two in the first and one in the second to take an immediate three-run lead.  They added a run in the fifth (also off Palmer, who worked five and two-thirds in the loss)…and Tucson was still flailing out there.  We’d blown a few chances, leaving two on base in both the third and fourth, but couldn’t get those crucial runners past second base!  Another chance in the sixth against Rainier hurler, Jandy SenaAndy Parrino hit a single, Vince Belnome struck out, but Jedd Gyorko also hit a single (his second hit in 17 ABs…maybe this is the beginning of the end of Jedd’s slump!) and Anthony Contreras was at the plate.  Remember, Contreras was one of the “on” batters last night, so this looked PERFECT…except that Contreras ground into a double-play to end the inning.  Drat!  Fortunately, Tacoma sent Sena back out for the seventh inning.  Daniel Robertson led off with a double, and then Sawyer Carroll walked, bringing Jesus Merchan to the plate.  Jesus doesn’t get a chance to play every day, but his production at the plate is usually pretty good.  Not often with power, but productive.  THIS time, though, Jesus changed things up as he lifted out his first homer of the 2012 season, driving in three runs in the process.  Now Tucson only down one run.  Sena walked catcher Robert Kral and that was it for Jandy!  New pitcher to face Blake Tekotte at the top of our lineup.  Blake puts down a perfect sacrifice bunt, but Tacoma throws the ball away, the error advancing Kral to third!  Kral sits at third as Andy grounds out, but then tries to score during Vince’s AB and is tagged out at home.  Both Kral and Manager Terry Kennedy contested the call, but the home plate ump was not moved to reconsider his decision.  It would be the last time the T-Pads would threaten the Rainiers, as they went down one-two-three in the eighth and ninth to end the game.  Both Brad Boxberger and Miles Mikolas did their jobs in relief, combining for no runs on only one hit…but the horse had already left the stable. Give it up for Jesus Merchan for making this one close!

 Transactions and Injury Report.   Some good news for the T-Pads!   OF Blake Tekotte has been activated off the DL and returned to play in today’s day game!  There are now only three T-Pads on the 7-day DL:  pitchers Casey Kelly and Anthony Reyes and catcher Nick Hundley.  In other moves today, pitcher Chris Haney has been returned to Lake Elsinore from Tucson.  It will be interesting to see how the Padres organization fares through the major league trade deadline.  There have been some significant moves throughout the Bigs, but nothing that has yet affected our team (though some moves will definitely impact our PCL opponents).

On The Road Until July 28th.   The T-Pads will face the Rainiers in Tacoma for two more night games (tomorrow and Friday) before returning home to Tucson.  Remember, this year you can catch ALL Tucson Padres’ games on Tejano Radio 1600 AM (also available online off the Tucson Padres website.)  You don’t have to miss a single pitch!  And be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday night!  The Pads return to Kino to kick off a five-game series (played in four days) vs. Tacoma and the staff has put together an extra special evening for that Saturday night.  Not only will there be Fireworks after the game, but the game will feature the appearance of Beto and Chacho!  Plan to come see the famous mascot Chacho from the Obregon Yaquis and Beto from the Hermosillo Naranjeros in this sneak preview of what’s to come for our Mexican Baseball Fiesta October 5-7.  I saw these mascots last year – they’re definitely worth seeing, fans!

(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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