Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Tucson Owns First Place!
June 28, 2013, 14:19
Filed under: Uncategorized

Your Tucson Padres swept the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in yesterday’s double-header!  So much for the Sox being nearly unbeatable!  Because the Pads played and won TWO games, they have now jumped a half a game ahead of the Sacramento River Cats (who won their game last night) for SOLE POSSESSION of first place in the Pacific South Division.  This is the first time in franchise history that the T-Pads have been on top of the Division all alone.  Plus, they now have a five-game winning streak in place!  Well done, Pads!  Of course, the Sox didn’t go down easily…here’s a brief recap of both games (reminder:  in the minor leagues, double-headers always consist of two seven-inning games):

Game One:  Tucson 7; Colorado Springs 4.  During the PCL off-day on Wednesday, San Diego called up our scheduled starter for Game One, Robbie Erlin.  In fact, Robbie pitched six very effective innings for the Parent Unit on Wednesday night.  So, the Pads had to go to RHP Brandon Kloess to start game one.  Kloess would give up all four of the Sox runs in the game and so went down with a no-decision.  Brandon wasn’t really horrible…there were a couple runs scored by rather unusual means.  Like a run came in on a Tucson error – another came in on a hit batsman.  COS scored first (in the second), but Tucson came right back with a two-run third inning (Gregorio Petit, who was simply on a tear in both games, brought both runs home with a double).  The Sox answered with a two-run inning of their own in the third to retake the lead.  That was just before Tucson smashed out three runs in the fourth!  The Pads loaded the bases with two out and a passed ball during Ben Francisco’s at-bat brought in one run – then Ben brought home two with an RBI single!  The Sox answered with their final run in the bottom of the fourth…but Tucson wasn’t quite done yet.  In the top of the seventh, Petit led off with a single and came home when Jonathan Galvez launched out his sixth homer of the season, giving the Pads an additional two-run cushion into the bottom of the seventh.  Brad Brach had taken the mound for the fifth (and actually earned the win); Colt Hynes took the final one and two-thirds innings, setting down the Sox one-two-three (with two strike outs!) in the seventh for his fourth save of the season.  Our Pads hit well:  they amassed 12 total hits as a team, with Petit going three for four to lead the pack.  Four other Pads had a two-hit game, as well.  The team continues to strand too many men on base, but that didn’t hurt them in game one.

Game Two:  Tucson 5; Colorado Springs 4.  Tucson sent Jorge Reyes in to start game two:  he’s had better starts.  In two innings, he allowed two COS runs on three hits and three walks.  Plus he committed an error that allowed a Sox base-runner to take two extra bases (and later score).  The two runs by the Sox tied the game, since the Pads led off the second game with two runs in the first!  Gregorio Petit, still on fire from game one, hit a triple and came home on a Dean Anna RBI single.  (By the way, Dean now has a 15-game hitting streak to lead the team for the 2013 season!)  Mike Wilson followed with a double and Cody Decker brought Dean home with an RBI single.  Remember, we do WAY better when we score first, so that fast start made me hopeful, in spite of Jorge’s somewhat tough two innings on the mound.  Reyes left with the game tied, so no decision for him.  But Brandon Allen broke the tie with a line-drive solo homer in the top of the third – apparently the ball just barely cleared the fence!  So, Wilfredo Boscan came in with the team ahead by a run…and he responded by setting the Sox down one-two-three!  Tucson loaded the bases and chased the COS starter from the game in the fourth…but left the bases loaded as reliever, Mike McClendon got Allen to strike out and end the inning.  You had to wonder if that inning was going to come back to haunt the Pads as Boscan gave up the tying run to the Sox in the bottom of that frame.  McClendon made short work of the Pads in the fifth and Kevin Quackenbush came in to face the Sox in the bottom half of the inning.  He allowed COS a go-ahead run, but was otherwise very efficient in the inning.  Fortunately, the Pads found McClendon slightly vulnerable in their half of the sixth.  Daniel Robertson led off with a single, Jaff Decker advanced him with a sac bunt, and Petit brought D-Rob home with an RBI single!  Dean was a fly out, bringing Rene Rivera to the plate.  For the second time in the game, a COS pitcher got a strikeout combined with a wild pitch to allow the runner to reach first (and Rene doesn’t even run that well!) – and this one also brought home what would become the winning run for Tucson!  Two runs for Tucson in the frame – ahead by one again!  A double play ball helped Quackenbush get out of the bottom of the sixth unscathed, but the newest reliever for the Sox, Coty Woods, also didn’t have any problem with Tucson in the top of the seventh.  Still ahead by a run…and Miles Mikolas in to close for the Pads.  Miles always seems to get it done…the hard way. He allowed a single, got an out that advanced the runner, and then balked the runner to third base.  One out – tying run on THIRD.  Amazingly, he then got two ground outs to complete the save (his 16th) and give Tucson the win.  Way too close for comfort, but they got it done!  By the way, Petit went three for four in game two…just like he did in game one!  Amazing day for Gregorio.  AND our Tucson Padres now OWN the Southern Division lead all by themselves!

Transactions.  On Wednesday, San Diego recalled Robbie Erlin back to The Show.  They also optioned Brad Brach back to Tucson.  We were fortunate that San Diego was off yesterday, because they burned through most of their bullpen Wednesday night and would’ve needed fresh arms yesterday – likely from Tucson – to survive a game.  BUT, their off day saved us a bit.  Today, however, they have made more pitching moves:   they recalled Burch Smith once again – and optioned Tommy Layne back to Tucson once again.  While not reflected in the PCL transaction site, Broadcaster Tim Hagerty reported last night that Jesus Merchan has gone on the 7-day DL with a hamstring injury.  Anthony Bass suffered a calf injury in the game Tuesday night…apparently he’s still day-to-day.  The T-Pads have apparently gotten some pitching help for tonight’s game at Colorado Springs:  RHP Matt Andriese.  His move doesn’t show on the Transaction site, nor is he on our roster…but Tim’s game notes say he’ll start and Tim ALWAYS knows!  A quick web search shows Matt is coming to us from AA San Antonio Missions.

DOH!  Sometimes I do make silly mistakes!  A real forehead slapper here:  I’ve been calling our new catcher Chris Robinson by the wrong name in recent posts.  Darn!  I apologize for the mistake.  He really is a ROBINSON not a ROBERTSON (like our Daniel Robertson).  Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.

Pads Still on the Road.   The Tucson Padres are currently out of town and won’t return home until the Fourth of July.  The Pads continue this series at Colorado Springs against the Sky Sox (AAA Rockies) tonight at 6:05pm Tucson local time. Tomorrow’s game will air at 5:05pm; Sunday at 12:35pm.  Once done with the Sox, the Pads troop over to Sacramento to face those pesky River Cats (AAA Athletics) for three games in their first visit to Sacramento this season.  Don’t forget:  all games can be heard live on 1290AM The Source or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website worldwide.  Mark your calendars for the team’s return:  there will be Giant Star Spangled Spectacular Fireworks on both July 4th and 5th.  There will be no Thirsty Thursday promotion on July 4th – gates will open early at 5:30pm and fans are encouraged to show up EARLY to beat the big crowd!  On the 5th, the first 2,000 fans will receive a miniature American flag.  Nothing better than enjoying a professional baseball game AND fireworks to celebrate Independence Day!  You won’t want to miss it!

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


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