Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Hit Parade Continues!
August 24, 2013, 14:14
Filed under: Uncategorized

During the Tucson Padres’ post-All-Star break slump, the biggest thing missing from their game was hitting.  They’ve definitely worked through that issue (for now, anyway) and are slugging up a storm in their recent victories.  Last night was practically as good as a team can get, from the Padres’ perspective:  good starting pitching, good defense, amazing run-scoring, etc.  It all started with a very effective outing by Tucson’s starter, Matt Andriese.  After having to slip a start with arm fatigue, Matt was back in good form last night against Tacoma.  He tossed five innings and allowed only one run on four hits and two walks.  Meanwhile, the Pads were having a field day against Tacoma’s Andrew Carraway!  Tucson put two runs on the board in the first (both RBIs to Mike Wilson, who had an incredible night), then blasted away with four more in the third (this time Brandon Allen had a two-RBI double, Gregorio Petit had an RBI double, and Scott Moore had an RBI single).  Wilson picked up his third RBI with Tucson’s run in the fourth.  Yes, at the end of four, the Pads had a seven-nothing advantage!  Andriese gave up a Tacoma run in the fifth – and his evening ended.  In the bottom of the fifth, Tucson added another FIVE runs to the scoreboard!  And guess who had another two-RBI double in the frame?  Yup!  Mike Wilson!  Other RBIs in the inning went to Daniel Robertson (with an RBI walk), Dean Anna (sac fly), and Allen (RBI single).  Nine Padres reached the plate that inning!  Two of those runs were allowed by Tacoma’s first reliever, but both were charged to Carraway.  Jason Lane took two innings of relief after Andriese left – he held ‘em scoreless on one hit.  Tucson added its final run in the sixth on a D-Rob RBI single.  From there on out, Tacoma’s pen held Tucson off the board.  But still:  13 to 1!  New guy (see Transactions) Greg Gonzalez followed Jason on the mound – one hit, one walk, NO runs allowed.  Nice!  No need for our closer with a blowout going, so the Pads sent Brandon Kloess in to take the ninth.  It was not pretty.  Thankfully, the Pads held such a lead going into the frame that we could absorb the shock of a five-run ninth by our opponent…but I wouldn’t like to see us do that too often!  Kloess got an out on the first batter, but couldn’t do it again…single, walk, walk, RBI single, RBI walk, (and the worst) three-RBI triple…  Finally, Manager Pat Murphy had seen enough, and he put Arturo Lopez in the game.  Lopez allowed a single – got a strikeout – then relied on CF Reymond Fuentes to track down a hard fly ball in the gap for a game-ending fly out!  Whew!  What a game!  And just look at these numbers!  Wilson – four for five, two doubles, FIVE RBIs, and two runs-scored.  Chris Robinson – four for five with two runs-scored.  Allen – three for five, two doubles, three RBIs and one run-scored.  Rey was also three for five – his hitting streak continues to match his games-played in Tucson at 12!  There was ONE Tacoma batter who had an incredible night no matter who was pitching:  Nate Tenbrink was three for three with two doubles and a walk.  Tucson committed NO errors (two by the Rainiers) and turned THREE double plays.  See what I mean about it being a “complete” game?  Well done, Tucson!  They’ve won five straight…and doggone it if that STILL isn’t helping us in the standings.  Las Vegas trailed most of their game last night – but somehow pulled out a win in 10 innings. They remain in the lead; we’re five back.  Sacramento split their double-header in Colorado Springs last night – they are now two games back of Vegas in second place.  Fresno has been eliminated…we have seven to go before the dreaded magic “E” appears on our line.  Not mathematically impossible, folks, for the Padres to make it to the playoffs!  Hold onto that thought!  Meantime, Tucson has already won this series with Tacoma…but each game still matters for the run to the playoffs.  Go Tucson!  Final Score:  Tucson 13, Tacoma 6.

Transactions.  RHP Sean O’Sullivan has returned to Tucson!  He hasn’t actually been activated on the roster yet…that will require another roster move that is yet to be determined.  The Pads added Greg Gonzalez to the pen (and he played last night) from High-A Lake Elsinore Storm.  To make room for him on the roster, the team placed INF Jesus Merchan on the 7-day DL.  It struck me last night that that means we will not see Jesus play in Tucson again.  Ever.  Goodness, how I hate endings!  Here’s a bit of a rumor or two about major league players who might be playing at Kino Stadium in the next few games…  San Diego may be sending INF Kyle Blanks to Tucson for a rehab assignment!  No sign of that yet, but the SD press is making that claim.  Additionally, the DBacks may send both C Miguel Montero and INF Willie Bloomquist on rehab assignments with Reno when Reno is here this week!  The addition of Miggie to the lineup would be a fitting bit of closure to our AAA history here…he was once a Tucson Sidewinder!

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 and tomorrow; then the Reno Aces (AAA DBacks) come to town for four.  All games will be played at 7:05pm.  Tonight is an amazing night at the ballpark!  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!  The Padres will also recognize former Toros players, field staff, fulltime staff and game day employees before the game with an on-field ceremony. Some of the players (and a former manager) include Tim Tolman (manager in 1996), Carlo Colombino, Dave Rohde, Terry Clark (Tacoma’s hitting coach!) and Bronswell Patrick (our pitching coach!). What a fun evening at Kino Stadium – TONIGHT!  Tomorrow night will be the usual Military Appreciation and Bark in the Park Night.  As always, all military personnel (active, retired and veterans) and a guest will be admitted free when a Military ID is presented at the Padres Box Office.  Dogs will also be admitted free with their owners, and the first 100 dogs will get a free Frisbee.  Fans may sit on the berms or in their seats with their four-legged friends.  The Padres will also recognize former Sidewinders players, field staff, fulltime staff and game day employees before the game with an on-field ceremony.  Well, you KNOW I’ll be there for that!  I hope you’ll take advantage of all the fun events planned at the ballpark as our final season here in Tucson winds down.  Get on out to at least one game before it’s too late!

(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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