Cactus League play is over, but the Padres returned home to Petco for a couple of tune-up games to ge them ready for playing in their home ballpark. Last night, in game one of the two-game set, Bud Black tried to set his lineup as close as possible to how he will set it Opening Day. He also tried to use the pitching staff as he would in the regular season. Unlike the Cactus League games where pitchers would pitch at any time, Black used Cashner in the eighth and Street in the ninth.
Clayton Richard got the start and was fantastic. He went six strong innings of shut-out ball. He gave up just three hits, walked none, and struck out five. It was an impressive performance for the lefty. He was relieved by Joe Thatcher who gave up a line drive home run to Brayan Pena. But that would be all the offense the Royals would muster.
The Padres struck for their only two runs of the game in the third inning. Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman hit back-to-back home runs to lead the offensive charge. Will Venable was 1 for 2 with a stolen base after coming in to relieve Chris Denorfia. Yonder Alonso was 1 for 3. His one hit ended up being a long single in which he was ultimately thrown out at second. He smashed an opposite field blast off the left field wall (ala Adrian Gonzalez), but the ball was played perfectly by Alex Gordon of the Royals who gunned Alonso out at second base.
Andrew Cashner was given his first real taste of set-up man duties and he did not disappoint. He gave up a single, but then he promptly struck out the side, his fast ball topping out at 98 mph. Huston Street came in to shut the door in the ninth, and he did just that. He pitched a perfect frame, and the Padres won their 20th game of the spring.
Tonight, the Padres again take on the Royals today at 2:05 PT, but they will be playing in Lake Elsinore, home of the Padres Class-A affiliate. Matt Palmer will get the start for the Padres.