Tonight’s game between the Padres and the Reds certainly did not need much hype.
Cincinnati’s starter this evening was Mat Latos, the same starting pitcher who was shipped out of San Diego in December of 2011 in a blockbuster trade between the Reds and the Padres. Interestingly enough, Latos’ counterpart tonight was none other than Edinson Volquez, one of the four players San Diego received in exchange for Latos from Cincinnati that December.
Neither starter was credited with a decision tonight, but the Friars recaptured some of last night’s late-game magic after Nick Hundley put the Friars in front 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth with a crucial two-run double.
Just like they did last night, it was Cincinnati, not San Diego, who drew first blood. In the top of the second when Devin Mesoraco hit a “topper” off of home plate for what looked like an infield hit. Logan Forsythe, who fielded the ball, made a great decision when he threw the ball back to second base and nabbed Zack Cozart who had rounded the bag and though the play was finished.
In what would be a recurring theme tonight though, the Padres answered the Reds when they tied the score though in the bottom of the frame after Forsythe hit a run-scoring groundout.
After the second inning, Volquez and Latos threw scoreless frames in the third, fourth, and fifth innings until Volquez’s control escaped him in the top of the sixth. With one out, San Diego’s starter walked Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips before Jay Bruce made Volquez pay for his control issues. Cincinnati’s right fielder laced a single to center field, and the Reds took a 2-1 lead after Votto crossed home plate.
Just like they did in the bottom of the second though, the Friars tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Jesus Guzman scored from first base after Will Venable smacked a double deep to right-center field. Guzman, who is normally a slow man on the basepaths, was able to score standing up after he got a good jump on Venable’s deep blast.
Thankfully for the Friars, their bullpen did a stellar job during the seventh and eighth innings to keep the game tied. Colt Hynes struck out Derrick Robinson to get the second out in the top of the seventh, and Dale Thayer pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball after Hynes performed his “LOOGY (Left-Handed One-Out Guy) Duty”.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, the Friars lineup struck back with some late-game magic. Venable and Jedd Gyorko clubbed back-to-back singles with one out to set the stage for Chris Denorfia. “Deno” however struck out, but Hundley came through in a big way when he hit a double down the left field line that scored both Venable and Gyorko!
Armed with a two-run lead, Huston Street came on for the Padres to shut the door on Cincinnati. Street finished the game strong after he allowed a leadoff single, and San Diego’s closer recorded the final three outs in a row to earn save number 20 on the season.
All I have to say right now is, “Holy Macaroni!” After the way the Friars looked at the beginning of this month, I certainly did not believe that they could win two in a row against a team as talented as the Reds. Excitement aside, San Diego will have a chance to sweep Cincinnati tomorrow and also move to only seven games under .500 before their upcoming series against the Yankees.
For now though, let’s be happy that the Friars found a way to win again in exciting fashion!
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