Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Padres whollop Dodgers as bats come to life
The San Diego Padres put together a prolific offense and solid starting pitching to down the Dodgers and take their first series of the season
The Padres bats have awakened. On a chilly Los Angeles evening, the San Diego Padres finally put together an outing that included superb starting pitching and a copious amount of hitting and the Padres used that combination to bury the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 on Tuesday.
The offense provided in the first inning was all that the Padres needed. Chris Denorfia led off with a single, and a Everth Cabrera sacrifice bunt put Denorfia on second base.
Yonder Alonso singled to right field, plating Denorfia, and Jesus Guzman followed with a single, putting Alonso at second base. After Jedd Gyorko lined out, Kyle blanks hit an infield single to load the bases.
Nick Hundley drew a walk off of Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano and Alonso scored. Alexi Amarista then singled, driving home Guzman and Blanks, and the Padres staked themselves and starting pitcher Jason Marquis to a 4-0 lead before the Dodgers had a chance to come to the plate.
In the top of the third inning, the Padres got another run home after Jesus Guzman walked and then Matt Guerrier replaced an injured Chris Capuano, and an out later, Kyle Blanks doubled to center putting Guzman at third, and Nick Hundley then hit a sacrifice fly to bring Guzman home. Marquis rode a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning.
The Dodgers got a run back, but they could have scored more had Jason Marquis not righted himself after giving up a single to Juan Uribe and hitting Justin Sellers with a pitch. Matt Guerrier bunted foul on a two strike count for the first out, and after walking Carl Crawford to load the bases, Mark Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Uribe.
Marquis then struck out Matt Kemp to end the Dodgers threat. After three innings, the Padres held on to a comfortable 5-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Padres got that run back. With Josh Wall in for Matt Guerrier and two outs in the frame, Nick Hundley doubled and Alexi Amarista singled to center field. Hundley came around to score and the Padres led the Dodgers 6-1.
The Padres offense didn’t let up. In the top of the sixth inning, Chris Denorfia doubled, and one out later Denorfia stole third base. Yonder Alonso smacked a double to right field, scoring Denorfia.
A Jesus Guzman ground out put Alonso at third base, and then Jedd Gyorko singled to left and Alonso scored. The Padres took a commanding 8-1 lead and Marquis continued to dominate against the Dodgers offense.
In the ninth inning, with Brandon League on the mound, the Padres added on when Kyle Blanks opened the frame being hit by a pitch, and then Blanks took second base on a wild pitch. Nick Hundley lined out while Blanks tagged and took third base.
Alexi Amarista then singled and Blanks scored, and the Padres went to the bottom of the ninth inning up 9-1. Andrew Cashner had come into the game in the eighth inning and remained to close out the ninth.
Cashner was a little erratic, giving up a single to Jerry Hairston Jr., and one out later Cashner gave up a walk to Andre Ethier. After striking out A.J. Ellis, Cashner walked Skip Schumaker to load the bases and then Nick Punto drew a walk and Hairston Jr. crossed the plate, but Cashner struck out Luis Cruz to end the game.
Jason Marquis pitched into the eighth inning, giving up only one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five. His record is now an even 1-1 as the Padres improve to 4-10 on the young season.
“We talked about the first couple of weeks of strong pitching and timely hitting and today we put it all together,” manager Buddy Black said postgame. “Jason pitched outstanding. I thought he got better as the game progressed. Our offense stayed on them from the first hitter of the game when [Chris Denorfia] got that base hit and from then on I thought we had good at bats all night.”
In all, the Padres pounded out 15 hits, with Chris Denorfia, Yonder Alonso, and Alexi Amarista getting three hits each, Kyle Blanks and Nick Hundley each had two hits, and Jesus Guzman and Jedd Gyorko with a hit each. Amarista, who got off to a very slow start on the season, had four runs batted in.
Chase Headley played in what will likely be his last rehab game for the Lake Elsinore Storm on Tuesday evening. Chase went 1 for 3 and stole a base, and will likely come off of the disabled list (broken thumb) later this afternoon and join the big club in Los Angeles. The corresponding roster move is uncertain, but unless a player is moved to the disabled list for whatever reason, it’s likely that Kyle Blanks would be moved back down to AAA Tucson. Blanks was called up during the last Padres home stand when the Padres designated Cody Ransom for assignment. Ransom, however, failed to clear wavers and was claimed by the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. Blanks is currently 3 for 8 in his short time up with the big club.
Wednesday, the Padres and Dodgers will play the final game of the series, as the Padres send Tyson Ross (0-1, 4.82) to go up against Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 1.16) of the Dodgers. Game time is again at 7:10 PM PDST and is carried on radio 1090 AM or televised on Fox Sports San Diego.