Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
It was a homecoming of sorts for two Padres players, Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso - both of whom attended the University of Miami - and with family and friends in the stands in Miami, both made the most of it. Grandal went 2 for 4 with 3 runs batted in while Alonso was 2 for 5 with a pair of RBI's, helping the Padres past the Marlins, 7-2, on Friday.
The Padres' Kip Wells (pictured) faced Carlos Zambrano of the Marlins, and both starting pitchers managed to pitch out of some minor jams for the first few innings. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Wells found himself a little bit overwhelmed.
Donovan Solano opened the frame with a single to center field, and Jose Reyes hit the first Kip Wells pitch he saw in the inning into right field for a triple, bringing home Solano. Carlos Lee then hit an infield single, plating Reyes, and the Marlins staked themselves to a 2-0 lead. But Wells got the next three hitters and was out of the inning without further damage.
That would be the only runs the Marlins would get, as Wells settled in nicely, getting out of trouble in the fifth inning when John Buck reached second base on a throwing error by Everth Cabrera and a single by Carlos Zambrano put Buck at third. Emilio Bonifacio then grounded to first base, with Alonso getting Buck at home plate for the first out, and Wells cleaned up the rest of the mess to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Padres offense exploded in the top of the sixth inning. Logan Forsythe doubled to left, and Jesus Guzman reached on an error by Bonifacio, putting Forsythe at third base. Chase Headley walked to load the bases and then Zambrano walked Carlos Quentin to force Forsythe home.
Yasmani Grandal then tripled to clear the bases, and the Padres found themselves up 4-2. For Grandal, his bases-loaded triple was the first by a catcher this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Chad Gaudin replaced Carlos Zambrano, and gave up a single to Yonder Alonso, scoring Grandal. After Cameron Maybin flied out, Everth Cabrera singled, moving Alonso to second base. Kip Wells popped out on a bunt attempt, and Logan Forsythe walked to load the bases.
Jesus Guzman then struck out to end the inning, but not before the Padres had sent a season-high eleven batters to the plate. The Padres led, 5-2, after five and a half innings.
The Padres added on in the top of the seventh inning. With Dan Jennings relieving Chad Gaudin, Chase Headley walked. After Carlos Quentin lined out to shortstop, Yasmani Grandal singled to left field with Headley taking third, and Yonder Alonso singled to right field, plating Headley and putting Grandal on second base.
Cameron Maybin followed with a double to left field, scoring Grandal. The Padres led 7-2 at that point, and that was all the offense required. Dale Thayer and Brad Brach closed out the last three innings to preserve the win for the Padres.
The win for the Padres makes it the ninth straight time they have beaten the Marlins in Florida. The Padres improved to 43-58 while the Marlins fell to 45-54 on the season.
Cameron Maybin returned to the line-up on Friday, going 1 for 4 with a double and a run batted in. Maybin's sore wrist is reportedly feeling much better. Alexi Amarista (thumb) was out of the line-up again on Friday, but was available according to manager Buddy Black, who believes that Amarista could start in this series.
Pitcher Tim Stauffer (elbow) will throw his next bull pen session on Saturday in Peoria. After a couple more bull pen sessions, Stauffer is expected to pitch in a game in Arizona before the club decides where he will continue his rehab in the minors. If rehab goes well, Stauffer is slated to pitch with the big club before the season ends.
Saturday, the Padres will send Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.16) to face Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.15) of the Marlins. Game time is 4:10 PM PDST, on radio XX 1090 AM, and if your cable or satellite provider carries Fox Sports San Diego, then you know the drill. For Time Warner and AT&T U-verse customers, tape delay of the Olympics is probably your best option, maybe your only option. Spoiler: Phelps didn't medal in his first event. Oops, sorry about that.