Padres’ starter, and Liriano’s fellow rookie, Jesse Hahn looked shaky to start the game, working his way in and out of trouble in the first inning. After giving up a leadoff single to Charlie Blackmon and walking Justin Morneau, Hahn got things under control by jamming Nolan Arenado into a pop out and striking out Corey Dickerson to end the inning.
The Padres looked as though they were returning to pre-All Star Game form in the bottom half of the first inning. The Friars drew three walks, the first of which resulted in Yangervis Solarte grounding into a double play, and the second two were left stranded on a Jedd Gyorko inning-ending strikeout on a low breaking ball.
Jesse Hahn regained some command by pitching 1-2-3 second inning.
The Friars would go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second as well, but this second out came on Rymer Liariano’s first career Major League at bat. The rookie showed some patience in his first big league appearance, taking the count to 2-2 before getting frozen at the plate on a called strike breaking ball up in the zone.
Hahn began to waiver a bit in the third after walking the opposing pitcher on four pitches to lead off the inning. With two outs, Justin Morneau singled on a line drive to right field. Liriano laid out for the ball but missed it by an inch. His momentum caused his body to roll on top the ball. After popping up and throwing the ball in to hold runners at the corners, Liriano could be seen wincing in pain and rubbing his chest and stomach. Fans were finally able to exhale moments later, after no one was sent to check on him. The last thing this franchise needs is a freak injury to set back one of their future cornerstones. Hahn got Arenado to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Padres went down 1-2-3 in the third and were hitless up until this point in the ball game.
Colorado couldn’t manage a hit in the fourth, but Josh Rutledge was able to get on with a walk. The Rockies would end the inning on a ground out to third.
The Padres found their swagger in the bottom of the fourth, and it came in the form of a Yonder Alonso solo shot to right field porch. Alonso looked good at the plate all night and showed hustle on the base paths. The home run must have sparked something with the team because the following three batters all managed to get on base. Jedd Gyorko singled to center and Yasmani Grandal came up with a huge double to center field but missed the RBI when the relay nailed Gyorko by a stride or to at the plate. I’m not sure what happened here, but Gyorko looked slow coming around third and appeared to pull up before he slid, not even touching the home plate. With Grandal at second, Rymer Liriano was hit on his hand on a pitch that was high and inside. Colorado would challenge that the ball hit the knob of the bat and not the player. After a brief review, the umpire crew ruled that the ball his Liriano’s hand and the knob of the bat as he tried to get out of the way, upholding the call on the field. Both runners would be stranded after Alexi Amarista grounded to second.
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Both the Rockies and the Padres went down in order for a quick fifth inning.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Alonso and Gyorko hit back to back singles. Alonso kicked it into high gear and rounded second on the Gyorko single. Alonso would have been tagged out on his head first slide, but he pulled back is right arm as Arenado tried to apply the tag and touched base safely with his left. Everyone in attendance at Petco, including Arenado, thought Alonso was out. Colorado did not challenge the close play at third, but under the new MLB replay challenge rules, wouldn’t have been able to due to losing a challenge earlier in the game. Grandal walked and the bases were loaded for Rymer Liriano’s fairy tale debut. Liriano didn’t hit a grand slam, but he did hit a hard line drive to out to center field on a sliding catch. It was a tough out for Rymer, but Alonso was able to score easily from third and close the gap to 3-2.
Vincent pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.
Abraham Almonte would lead off the bottom half with a pinch hit double to center and was moved over to third on a Will Venable sacrifice bunt. Small ball would prove unnecessary as Yangervis Solarte would belt a line drive home run to left field to put the Padres up 4-3. Solarte is now hitting a .299 since being traded to the Padres on July 22. Seth Smith singled, but was left stranded.
Joaquin Benoit came in to shut the door in the 9th by striking out the side and earning his sixth save on the year.
Liriano looked good all night as he was patient at the plate and took some good hacks. His presence in the lineup will benefit those hitting in front of him, and the team as a whole.
Jesse Hahn had an interesting night. He only gave up two hits through the first five innings, but struggled with command and fell behind often in counts. He had difficulty painting the corners but only managed to walk three while striking out five.
The Padres’s bullpen pitched four innings and tallied nine strikeouts, while striking out the side twice.
Friars of the Game
Yangervis Solarte: 1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
Yonder Alonso: 2-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB
Padres’ Bullpen: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 9 K
Alexi Amarista: 0-for-4, 4 LOB