The Padres needed to respond after they were shellacked and shutout by Arizona last night. San Diego’s hitters looked hapless during their 10-0 loss, and their plate discipline was downright poor. Tonight however the bats woke up, and the Padres’ lineup feasted on the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff while they cruised to a 12-3 victory.
The Friars’ hitters were very patient this evening, especially against Tyler Skaggs in the early going. Arizona’s left-handed starter had issues with his control, and San Diego’s lineup burned him early and often. Best of all for Friars, Skaggs was particularly wild and vulnerable in situations with two outs.
In the bottom of the first, Carlos Quentin put his team ahead after he doubled home Chris Denorfia, who had walked earlier in the frame. After Arizona tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on a Miguel Montero home run, the Padres definitely needed to respond in a big way. Thankfully, their hitters led an offensive explosion during the next two innings.
After Skaggs retired the first two hitters, he loaded the bases after he walked Denorfia and Quentin and hit Chase Headley with a pitch between the two. He then gave San Diego a 2-1 lead after he walked in Jesus Guzman on four pitches, and proceeded to make his biggest mistake of the night against the hot-hitting Yonder Alonso when he left him a hanging breaking ball in the middle of the plate.
San Diego’s first baseman squared the ball up, and then cleared the bases after he smacked it down the first base line. That double put the Friars ahead 5-1, and the runs just kept on coming after Denorfia and Headley hit back-to-back home runs with two men already out in the top of the fourth.
“Deno’s” two-run shot was an second-decker, and that basically convinced Arizona’s coaching staff to pull Skaggs. Headley’s laser-beam actually came on the first pitch Skaggs’ replacement, Tony Sipp, threw! Those dingers made the score 8-1, and that big lead provided Andrew Cashner with more than enough of a cushion to work with too.
Although Cashner was not dominating Arizona’s lineup, he limited his mistakes and pitched himself out of jams when he needed to do it. After he walked three to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, Everth Cabrera turned an impressive 6-3 double play. Then with two on and one out in the bottom of the fourth, the right-hander forced Didi Gregorius to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Outside of those jams and the two home runs he allowed to Montero and Paul Goldschmidt, Cashner kept Arizona’s lineup at bay.
Overall, “Grizzly Adams” only surrendered three runs over his six innings of work during which he struck out five. While his performance on the mound was solid, Cashner’s biggest highlight of the night arguably came when he smacked a solo home run to left field in the top of the sixth inning! The home run was the first of the pitcher’s big league career, and it was definitely nice to see the fan throw the ball back into the field of play afterwards.
Up 9-3 after Cashner left the game, the Friars received effective relief efforts from Tim Stauffer and Dale Thayer over the final three frames. Plus, they even added to their lead with three more runs in the top of the ninth inning. Singles by Quentin and Alonso each plated a run, while a wild pitch on what was the third strike to Nick Hundley allowed Alexi Amarista to score the Friars’ 12th run of the night.
It was nice to not only see the Padres score so many runs tonight, but it was even better to see their hitters patient at the plate. They forced Arizona’s pitchers, particularly Skaggs, to challenge them and find the strike zone. When he was not on point, they were patient. When he finally got balls over the plate, they made him pay like Alonso and Denorfia did.
Tomorrow, the Padres will try to earn another series victory in the finale against the Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, they must contend with the 12-1 Patrick Corbin. The Friars will need another strong performance from Tyson Ross if they wish to pull out a victory tomorrow, and it would certainly be nice to see their lineup as disciplined as they were tonight.
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