As if they hadn’t been one of the worst hitting teams of the live ball era, the San Diego Padres took right off from last night, bats alive and well a surprisingly second night in a row. Action opened at the “Friendly Confines’ as first baseman Yasmani Grandal hit a triple driving in Seth Smith, who had a two-out single. Grandal then scored on an RBI-single by Will Venable, giving the Friars a 2-0 first inning lead.
Padres’ starter Tyson Ross answered the way he has most of the season, by sending the Cubs’ hitter down without much of a fight. The Cubs first threat didn’t come until the bottom half of the third inning, when John Baker doubled off the ivy in left field. He was then sacrificed over to third by Cubs’ starting pitcher, Edwin Jackson, but Chicago failed to score, as Ross struck out both Emilio Bonifacio, and Arismendy Alcantara to end the inning.
The Cubs posed another threat in their half of the fourth, as former Padres’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo started things off with a single, and advanced to third on a single into the gap by Starlin Castro. After a Chris Coghlan strike out, the Cubs finally broke through, as Luis Valbuena hit a sharp single between first and second base, driving Rizzo. A Ryan Sweeney line-out to Alexi Amarista at short, gave the Padres two outs in the inning. Both runners moved up on a botched pick-off play by Rene Rivera, that saw the ball end up in center field, but Ross avoided any further damage, and got out of the inning with the lead, by striking out John Baker.
Rivera made up for the error, and got the run back that Ross gave up, by hitting hit seventh home run of the year, extending the lead back to two runs at 3-1. The Cubs threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as Alcantara singled, stole second base, and then advanced to third on a passed ball, third strike by Rivera, allowing Rizzo to reach first base safely. Ross induced a ground ball to Amarista, that took it to second himself to end the Chicago inning. Through five innings of work, Ross had recorded 10 Ks.
In the Padres’ half of the sixth inning, Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, suffered an undisclosed injury, and needed to be removed. He was replaced by Brian Schlitter. From there, things only got better for the Padres. Once again, Rivera came through big, as he drove in two more runs to make it 6-1, Padres. Alexi Amarista joined the RBI-parade, driving in a pair on a single of his own, increasing the lead to 8-1. Seth Smith put the knockout punch on Schlitter, driving in a ninth Friar’s run. Wesley Wright came in and relieved Schlitter.
Will Venable welcomed Wright appropriately for the night, singling right back up the middle, and driving in the Padres’ 10th run of the night. Chris Nelson drove in yet another pair, singling up the middle as well. Another Rivera single, and Venable did the sportsmanlike thing, and held up at third. Pitcher Tyson Ross finally ended what has been the most productive offensive inning ALL SEASON LONG for the Padres. A 9-run 6th inning, and the Padres entered the bottom of the 6th, leading the Cubs, 12-1.
Tyson Ross finished his evening, tossing 6 innings, allowing the single run, and striking out 11. Tim Stauffer came on and took over for Ross in the 7th, and gave back a pair of runs in the 8th inning, but the game was well out of reach for the Cubbies. Yangervis Solarte added one last blow to the Cubs, getting a sac fly in the 9th, making it 13-3, Padres.
For the Padres on offense, Seth Smith, Will Venable, and Rene Rivera all had three hits each. Rivera led the way with 3 RBI on the night, while Smith, Venable, and Chris Nelson each had a pair of runs driven in.
From Chicago, the Padres will travel south to Atlanta for a weekend series against the Braves at Turner Field. Jesse Hahn (5-2, 2.21 ERA) is back from a brief stint in Double-A San Antonio and will face Atlanta’s Alex Wood (7-7, 3.24 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. PDT.
Keep the Faith.