The Padres had seen a back-and-forth game have them on the short end of the stick heading into the bottom of the 8th inning Thursday. Alex Dickerson changed all of that with one swing.
The Padres Ryan Buchter had allowed a run an inning putting the Padres behind an inning after Brad Hand had allowed a run to allow the Diamondbacks to tie the game. Arizona relievers also could not get it done.
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The Poway native greeted new pitcher Enrique Burgos with a laser into left-center bringing in all three runners with Solarte diving in head first to put the Padres up by two. Said Dickerson of his swing: “Any time runners are in scoring position, you don’t want to get cheated on anything, it’s not going to be a finesse swing. I wanted to make sure I was getting my money’s worth on it.”
That he did with the Padres bench waving emphatically. Brandon Maurer made it close again in the 9th, allowing a run before stranding the tying run at second base and securing the wild 9-8 victory.
Dickerson has looked more and more comfortable at the plate since getting regular playing time after the departure of Melvin Upton Jr.and Matt Kemp, and even before that platooning with Travis Jankowski with the injury of Jon Jay. It seemed to culminate last night as the Padres put the rookie in a big spot and he delivered.
Jankowski meanwhile stole another base to put him fourth in the National League in the category as teams have to pay complete attention to him. That helps Wil Myers and Solarte as pitchers are more worried about Jankowski on first than paying attention to the Padres sluggers at the plate. Jarred Cosart gets the ball for the Padres Friday night.