Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Pads Crush a No-Hit Bid
August 23, 2013, 15:38
Filed under: Uncategorized

I couldn’t help but worry when I heard that LHP James Paxton was starting for the Rainiers last night…  Paxton has relatively “ordinary” numbers at this point in the season:  except against the Padres!  Last time we saw Paxton here in July, he tossed his first-ever complete game shutout.  And here he was again.  So I felt an ominous sense of doom early last night, as Paxton appeared to be one-upping his previous appearance by tossing a no-hitter against us last night!  Worse, Tacoma had blasted out four runs against our starter, Robbie Erlin, in the third and added another run in the fifth. True, it’s really early in the game to be talking about a no-hitter in the fifth inning…but it felt like if anyone could do it, it’d be Paxton.  Down five…no hits of our own…and only three base-runners – two on walks, one on an error…I wasn’t holding out much hope for our Pads.  It was a relief when Ben Francisco led off the fifth with a single.  We all exhaled:  at LEAST the Pads weren’t going to be no-hit!  But then Cody Decker and Jesus Merchan followed with singles!  We’d gone from no-hit to back in the game.  Bases loaded – none out!   And I don’t know who was more surprised, fans or Paxton himself!  Chris Robinson followed Jesus at the plate and he whacked a ball that looked tailor-made for a double play.  The Rainier’s second baseman, Ty Kelly, surrounded the ball, MEANT to tag second, and tossed to first…but actually missed the bag at second!  C-Rob out, but Ben scored.  RBI groundout for Chris!  Daniel Robertson up next – ANOTHER RBI groundout!  Two out, two in…and believe it or not, the fun had just begun!  Dean Anna walked; Jonathan Galvez hit an RBI single; Mike Wilson hit an RBI single; Gregorio Petit hit an RBI single…and BEN was back up to bat!  This time, Ben smashed out a two-run triple!  Cody also got a second chance in the inning – he took a walk, and Paxton’s final pitch went wild!  Ben raced home on the wild pitch!  Tacoma went to the pen…Paxton’s night was over.  Their reliever got Jesus to strike out and end the inning.  Robbie was also done for the evening but he went from expecting a loss to being in the running for a win!  Tucson had scored EIGHT runs in the inning, for a three-run lead.  Holy cow!  The Pads put up one more run in the sixth…Tacoma added one (on a solo homer) in the seventh to account for all the scoring.  Brandon Kloess took an inning of relief work (allowed a walk, erased it on a double play), followed by Arturo Lopez (who allowed the solo homer) for an inning.  Brad Brach pitched one and one-third scoreless innings.  Tommy Layne got the final two outs in the ninth on a strike out and a pop out.  After going hitless through four innings, Tucson ended up out-hitting Tacoma, 13 to 10!  Every T-Pad had at least one hit in the evening.  Ben’s triple was the only extra-base hit by a Pad (no doubles – which is unusual for us).  After trailing five-nothing, Tucson notched up their fourth consecutive win.  Las Vegas also won last night (what else is new?) – so the Pads remain five games back of them.  Sacramento was rained out in Colorado Springs – be interesting to see how their double-header goes today.  In any case, our Padres are on a roll now!  Yay, Tucson!  Final Score:  Tucson 9, Tacoma 6.

Transactions.  It appears that no one staked a claim on RHP Sean O’Sullivan after San Diego designated him for assignment:  he has been outrighted to Tucson.

FINAL Homestand Continues!   The Tucson Padres continue the final homestand of their history tonight at Kino Stadium.  They’ll face the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA Mariners) tonight through Sunday; then the Reno Aces (AAA DBacks) come to town for four.  All games will be played at 7:05pm.  Tonight the Padres pay tribute to the University of Arizona with Bear Down Friday.  All fans wearing Wildcats-related attire will get a box seat for only $5 (half off regular price!).  There will also be a U. of A. alumni athlete softball game on the field from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.  Perhaps the biggest night of the homestand – and of the season – will be tomorrow night!  The Famous San Diego Chicken has decided to come out of semi-retirement to play one last gig in honor of Tucson’s baseball history and help us say farewell…Beto Coyote, a famous mascot in his own right, of the Hermosillo Naranjeros will also show up to entertain fans.  As if that wasn’t enough excitement, the staff is capping the evening off with a Fireworks Spectacular following the game!  And did I mention you can get coupons for $2 off the price of any ticket at any local Giant convenience stores?  Yup!  This is a biggie, folks!  I hope you’ll take advantage of all the fun events planned!  Mark your calendars and plan to attend at least one of the final nine games at Kino Stadium!

(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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