Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Pads Win With Only Two Runs
July 4, 2013, 13:24
Filed under: Uncategorized

Because the score in last night’s game was the mirror image of the previous night’s game, I was tempted to try to use the previous post, adjusting only the names and how the runs scored.  I thought that’d be amusing.  But to do so would completely underestimate what a brilliant pitcher’s duel developed in last night’s game…and I do want to focus on that.  Tucson sent young RHP Matt Andriese in for his second AAA start…he was countered by RHP Arnold Leon for Sacramento.  Because Sonny Gray’s status is still up in the air, the River Cats have had to juggle how they’d fill the starting position in two of the three games we played in the series.  Leon actually came up from AA Midland RockHounds to take this start.  Although he played 22 games in relief with Sacramento in the 2012 campaign, this was his 2013 debut with the Cats…and his first AAA start.  Both pitchers had one-two-three first innings.  Both pitchers “struggled” a smidge in the second.  This was fortunate for Tucson as it resulted in our first run of the game.  Cody Decker had the game’s first hit, a single, with one out; Ben Francisco hit a single but Jonathan Galvez erased him (advancing Cody to third) with a fielder’s choice; then Jaff Decker brought Cody home with a two-out RBI single.  In the bottom of the second, Andriese walked the first two batters, got a strikeout, then hit the fourth batter to load the bases.  He got a line out and a fielder’s choice to leave ‘em loaded!  Whew!  Tucson very nearly added a run in their half of the third – Dean Anna went to first on a hit-by-pitch, advanced to second on a single by Gregorio Petit…and was tagged out trying to reach home on a single by Brandon Allen!  Drat!  So close!  And then Leon and Andriese went back to their unhittable ways…batters went down one-two-three in the Cat’s half of third and both halves of the fourth and fifth.  Petit got a leadoff hit in the top of the sixth, but Allen flew out and Cody hit into a double play.  Andriese, mirroring Leon once again, also gave up a hit in the sixth.  It was a double.  It was the FIRST hit Andriese allowed – it was the ONLY hit the Padres pitching staff would allow all game long!  Amazing!  And more good news…that batter didn’t score!  Both teams went down one-two-three in the seventh.  Both teams congratulated their starters and sent in relievers for the eighth.  Andriese:  seven innings, one hit, two walks, one hit batsman, no runs, eight Ks.  Leon:  seven innings, six hits, no walks, one hit batsman, one run, nine Ks.  The youngsters did well!  Tucson seemed relieved to be facing someone other than Leon…Chris Robinson led off with a single, Daniel Robertson moved him over a base with a sac bunt, Dean struck out, Petit advanced C-Rob to third with a single and then C-Rob scored on a wild pitch tossed with Allen at bat!  Our second run in the game came home with a wild pitch!  What a game!  That’d be the last of the scoring, though Tommy Layne gave us a scare in his portion of the eighth: he faced three and walked two after getting a quick groundout to start the frame.  Brad Boxberger came in to finish the eighth…he got a strikeout then walked the bases loaded!  Oh no!  But there were two out, and the Cats flew out to end the inning.  Whew!  The Pads faced another reliever for the ninth – Ben got a fast single but was doubled off on a smart, tricky play by Sacramento’s Grant Green.  Green alertly noted that Galvez was doing a slow “I know I’m out” trot to first, assuming Green would just catch the ball.  Green’s a smart player!  He let the ball fall, tossed to Jemile Weeks at second to get Ben out and watched as Weeks tossed the ball to first to double off Galvez.  Jaff then flew out to end the inning.  Tucson sent Miles Mikolas in to take the ninth – he got three quick fly ball outs to end the game.  Tucson won the game AND the series (first series win vs. Sac this season), pulling one and a half games ahead of the Cats in the Division race.  And the River Cats fall to third place after last night, since Vegas also won (by a two to nothing score).  The 51s remain one half game back of Tucson, but now they own second place all on their own.  And guess who’s playing in Tucson tonight?  Yup!  Las Vegas is in for four.  Bear down, T-Pads (to mix Tucson baseball terms) – beat the 51s!  Final Score:  Tucson 2; Sacramento 0.

Transactions.  I don’t see anything new posted – yet – today to report.

BIG Fourth of July Celebration with Your Tucson Padres!   The Tucson Padres return home tonight to kick off a four-game series against the Las Vegas 51s (AAA Mets)…and there are a TON of major Independence Day events on tap for this holiday weekend!  After the game tonight, fans can enjoy the BIGGEST fireworks display of the year, the Giant Star Spangled Spectacular!  The band GRIND will perform before and after the game.  Kids can run the bases following the fireworks show.  There will be NO Thirsty Thursday promotion.  Game time will be at 7:05pm, but fans are encouraged to arrive early (gates open at 5:30) to avoid traffic congestion entering the ballpark. Tomorrow night, there will be ANOTHER opportunity to catch a Giant Star Spangled Spectacular Fireworks show…plus the first 3,000 fans will receive miniature American flags.  A U.S. Army Swearing In Ceremony for some young men and women entering the service will take place on the field before the game and a U.S. Army Jazz Band will perform in the Grove (Gate A) before the game too.  Kids will once again be able to run the bases after the fireworks show, as well.  Nothing better than enjoying an important 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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