The Padres Melvin Upton Jr.hit his second walk-off home run of the season to lift the Padres over the Dodgers Friday night at Petco Park.
The Padres had the lead 5-4 before losing it on a rare Brandon Maurer misstep in the 8th inning as Justin Turner homered to give the Dodgers the lead. Then came the 9th inning after closer Kenley Jansen was hoping for his third 4+ out save of the season. The Padres were ready for him.
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Wil Myers, who had gotten his first hit of the game in the 7th inning, started things off with a soft fly to shallow center field. Center fielder Joc Pederson was playing back to avoid a double and Chase Utley seemed to over back peddle and couldn’t come up with the catch. Myers was given a single which set the stage for Upton.
The first pitch of the at-bat was a hanging slider that Upton Jr just missed. Jansen had to keep Myers close at first, and he blew another pitch by Upton Jr after home plate umpire granted a late time out which Jansen did not seem to appreciate. The stage was set.
Jansen delivered his next pitch and Upton launched it into the beach area of right center field at Petco Park. I wrote earlier today that the Padres needed someone to step up in the big moments to help the Padres take the next stage of development. I thought it would be Matt Kemp but he sat out tonight. Could that tempo changer really be Melvin Upton Jr.?
Christian Bethancourt hit a pinch hit home run as the Padres had to delay plans to put him in right field as an outfielder. Meanwhile Derek Norris failed to tie the game in the 8th with Jon Jay on second base though he did hit his 4th homer earlier in the game. The question would be why Bethancourt isn’t the primary catcher right now with Norris as the backup?
It was an exciting game tonight, and in particular because it was a game that seemed like the Padres would lose after losing the late lead.
They came back against a closer who hadn’t blown a save since last August 26th.
They came back against the mighty Dodgers.
They will not roll over, they will not accept defeat.