Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Fabulous Fourth!
July 5, 2013, 16:01
Filed under: Uncategorized

A capacity crowd of 10,950 holiday-makers at Kino Stadium last night were treated to a heck of a ballgame, as your Tucson Padres beat the visiting Las Vegas 51s to go eight games above .500 for the first time in franchise history!  Even though Las Vegas scored first in the game – with a solo homer off starter Sean O’Sullivan in the top of the second – Tucson was not to be deterred.  They came back with a ganga inning in their half of the second, scoring five runs with two outs.  (It’s an odd thing, but Tucson has a habit of scoring a lot of their runs with two outs.)  The Pads led off that inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases!  With each batter who came to the plate, I was picturing a lovely grand slam…but Jonathan Galvez struck out and Daniel Robertson popped out and the inning was left in the most-capable hands of our starting pitcher, the best hitting pitcher in all of the PCL.  You have to remember, Sean has the team’s only grand slam of the season!  I could just see him doing it again last night as he faced the Vegas hurler with the bases loaded.  Sean didn’t quite get the height for a homer, but he STILL cleared the bases with a 3-run double!  Jaff Decker followed Sean with the Pad’s only homer of the night – another two runs in!  Five Tucson runs in the second!  And we’d need every one of them, as the 51s kept creeping closer and closer.  Vegas put up another run against Sean in the top of the third.  Tucson countered with a run in the fourth (Jaff’s hustle brought him in from first on Gregorio Petit’s single…Jaff JUST beat the tag at home) – turns out that run was infinitely important as Vegas put up two runs in the fifth (still against Sean, though he didn’t make it out of the fifth; the team went to Kevin Quackenbush for the final out in the inning.  Sadly, that took Sean out of position to get a decision in the game, but you do what you gotta do!).  Brad Brach went two after Kevin’s one and a third.  Brach is shining out there these days!  He struck out three, allowed no runs/hits, and gave up only one walk.  Meantime, the Vegas pitching staff was holding Tucson off the scoreboard, too.  So, ninth inning…Tucson ahead six to four, and closer Miles Mikolas takes the hill for the Pads.  He gets two relatively easy ground outs, but then allowed a solo homer to Brandon Hicks and the Pad’s lead was down to ONE run.  Miles buckled down as he faced Zach Lutz, the very batter who’d gone deep in the second against Sean!  And Zach pops out!  Game over – Tucson wins!  The crowd – a BIG one – goes wild (I’m sure it wasn’t ALL about finally getting to the post-game fireworks!).  Tucson again pads its lead in the Division – back to 1 ½ games ahead of BOTH Las Vegas and Sacramento (who beat Fresno…good ol’ Sonny Gray, finally out of limbo for the River Cats, pitched a winner there).  Great start to this series – but three more to go.  Keep it up, Tucson!  Final Score:  Tucson 6; Las Vegas 5.

Transactions.  San Diego has optioned Burch Smith back to Tucson.  And I have to tell you, there’s some good news FOR Tucson in the Las Vegas transactions:  the New York Mets have recalled 1B Ike Davis back to play in the Bigs!  Ike was a late scratch in last night’s game and the rumor was that he was going back up…that rumor is now confirmed.  We will NOT be seeing him this time around!  One thing to monitor:  Jaff Decker left the game early last night in the company of the team trainer – no word on what kind of injury he might be dealing with (or if he’ll be out for awhile).

More Fireworks with Your Tucson Padres!   The Tucson Padres continue their series against the Las Vegas 51s (AAA Mets) tonight.  All games in this series will start at 7:05pm.  After the game tonight, fans can enjoy a repeat of the 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.  Tomorrow night the team will be giving away Tucson Padres Patriotic T-Shirts to the first 2,000 adults through the gate with paid admission.  All that and the chance to root for your #1 Tucson Padres!  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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