The Padres needed to erase last night’s no-hitter from their memory banks, and they needed to do it fast. Thankfully for them and us fans alike, it took less than 24 hours for San Diego’s hitters to regroup as they administered a 10-1 beating on San Francisco’s pitching staff.
It was a home run parade for the Friars during the game’s first two innings. Chris Denorfia teed off in the bottom of the first, while Nick Hundley and Will Venable hit back-to-back jacks in the following frame. Although it would have been nice to see them club those dingers with guys on base, they were more than enough for the team to erase their early 1-0 deficit.
While home runs are nice, it is just as encouraging to see a lineup manufacture runs and extend innings too. In the bottom of the third, the Friars really poured it on Barry Zito and the rest of San Francisco’s bullpen.
A run-scoring double by Carlos Quentin plated the Friars’ fourth run before Zito was yanked, a run-scoring ground out by Jesus Guzman plated run number five, Hundley’s single sent home the sixth run, and Venable plated San Diego’s seventh run on another single.
The Friars then added three more insurance runs for good measure during the next two innings as well. A single by Guzman and a two-run blast to left field by Quentin extended San Diego’s lead to 10-1, and the game was essentially finished at that juncture.
With an 8-1 lead after four innings of play, Eric Stults was set up grandly by his lineup to coast this afternoon. After he pitched around a one-run first inning, Stults settled down over the rest of his solid outing. Overall, the left-hander pitched six strong innings and struck out five Giants.
By the time the game was 10-1 in the top of the seventh, not even the Friars’ inconsistent bullpen could blow that lead. To their credit, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson, and Colt Hynes pitched a scoreless inning apiece. It was nice to see Hynes do well in his big league debut today after he was called up from Triple-A Tucson to provide some bullpen depth.
Although it was only one game, this win was big for San Diego. After a terrible 4-18 stretch, this team can now regroup, recharge, and head into the All-Star break with at least a little bit more confidence than they would have if they had been shut-down by Zito and the Giants. It would be nice to see the team rebound after a tough stretch like they did during the month of May, but the Padres still have to find a way to crawl out of the National League West’s cellar.
For now though, let’s be happy that the Friars responded with a win today before the All-Star break.
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