Stults had a terrific start this evening. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
After last night’s valiant comeback fell short, the Friars nutted up this evening in Denver and emerged victorious over the Rockies by a score of 4-2.
San Diego got all of the runs they needed to in the first four innings of the game with some timely hitting and another towering home run by Kyle Blanks. Everth Cabrera, who had three hits in the game and pushed his batting average to the .300 mark for the season, scored on a Chase Headley single in the top of the first to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.
Then after the Rockies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third on a throwing error by Yasmani Grandal, Blanks came through in the top of the fourth with a two-run home run to push the Friars in front. The home run itself was pretty cool to watch as Blanks powered the pitch to left field and off of the foul pole. Later in the frame, Cabrera also added a run-scoring “excuse-me bloop” double for an important insurance run.
Of course, San Diego never would have been able to climb out to an early lead had it not been for the effectiveness of Eric Stults. The veteran left-hander worked seven strong innings, scattered seven hits, allowed only two runs and struck out four as he notched his fifth win of the season. Credit must also go to Dale Thayer who pitched a one-hit eighth inning, and to Luke Gregerson who pitched an effective albeit overly-exciting final frame after he put the first two hitters on base. Thankfully, Colorado’s hitters just could not find a way to come through when things mattered the most as they finished a dreadful 0-15 with runners in scoring position!
The Padres did not play “lights out” by any stretch of the phrase though as their defense committed three errors. In addition to Grandal’s run-scoring mishap, Stults botched a pickoff and Cabrera screwed up a throw as well. Still, the guys made the plays they needed to when it counted, especially Jedd Gyorko‘s nab of a line-drive in the bottom of the ninth.
Nit-picking aside, the Friars nailed down another road win against a division opponent which is what is truly important. Tomorrow they will send Jason Marquis to the mound to nail down a series-win, and hopefully all will go well for San Diego’s leader in wins.