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It was only one week ago that the San Diego Padres were fresh off of a trip to San Francisco where the Giants had just completed sweeping a three game series. It was the third time in April that the Padres had been swept, and directly after the Padres had managed to sweep the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

For the Padres, much of April has been a month of sweeping or getting swept, so the result of Sunday’s game against the Giants at Petco Park shouldn’t be surprising. The Padres used the long ball and completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco, 6-4.

In the bottom of the first inning, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong struck out Everth Cabrera and Will Venable to open the frame, but Chase Headley crushed a fastball over the dead-center field wall. After an inning, the Padres led the Giants 1-0.

In the top of the second inning with one out, the Giants responded when Hunter Pence smacked a double down the left field line off of Padres starting pitcher Jason Marquis, and Brandon Belt drew a walk. Gregor Blanco then singled sharply to right field and the bases were loaded.

Brandon Crawford hit a fly ball to deep center, and Pence tagged and scored. The Giants and Padres were tied 1-1 after Marquis struck out Vogelsong.

In the bottom of the second inning, Vogelsong struck out Kyle Blanks and Jedd Gyorko, but Alexi Amarista laced a single into right field. Nick Hundley came up and belted the first pitch he saw over the left field wall, and the Padres were on top 3-1 over the Giants.

Marquis got into trouble in the top of the third inning, after getting Angel Pagan to fly out. Marco Scutaro walked, Pablo Sandoval singled, and Marquis walked Buster Posey to load the bases, but Hunter Pence ground into a double play to get the Padres out of the jam.

And then the Padres padded their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jedd Gyorko led off with a double hit into the gap in right-center, and Alexi Amarista belted his first home run to right field. The Padres took a more comfortable 5-1 lead over San Francisco.

The Giants got a run back in the top of the fifth when with one out, Angel Pagan drew a walk and stole second base. A Marco Scutaro groundout put Pagan at third base, and Pablo Sandoval singled to left, plating Pagan, and the Giants trailed the Padres 5-2.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Padres got the run back when Alexi Amarista drew a walk and Nick Hundley singled to left field, Amarista taking second base. Vogelsong was pulled and the Giants put in Jose Mijares in relief.

Jason Marquis bunted a sacrifice with Amarista and Hundley taking second and third, and Amarista scored with Hundley going to third base on a passed ball. After six innings, the Padres led 6-2 over the Giants.

Marquis went 6 2/3 innings before being pulled in the seventh inning. He gave up the two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

“We needed it,” manager Buddy Black said postgame. “The bullpen’s been used in last night’s game and the games prior. Look at the usage of all those guys, the guys at the back end of our pen. They’ve been used, so it was big that Jason gave us those outs in the seventh.”

Jason Marquis was mostly happy with his performance. “Felt like the ball came out the way I wanted. In key situations I had to make some pitches and my defense did a good job of helping me out and turning some double plays,” he said.

The Giants edged closer in the eighth inning when Pablo Sandoval singled to left and Buster Posey followed with a home run over the right field fence off of reliever Brad Brach. After Hunter Pence singled to left, Brach was pulled and Luke Gregerson came in eventually got out of the inning thanks to a full extension diving catch in right field by Chris Denorfia, and the Giants trailed the Padres 6-4.

Huston Street came in for the save in the ninth inning, his fifth. Jason Marquis got the win and evened his record at 2-2, while Ryan Vogelsong suffered the loss and fell to 1-2.

Regarding the sweeping of the Padres at the hands of the Giants a week before, Buddy Black said, “Those were well-pitched games, we just didn’t swing the bats.” What changed from then that got the Padres a sweep of the Giants over the last weekend of April?

“We swung the bats this series. Obviously yesterday we did come back with some great at bats, today three homers, contributors on offense, and we could have done more damage,” said Black.

With the sweep, the Padres improve to 9-15 but still remain in last place in the division. The team is going to have to do more damage on offense if they are to approach having a shot at playing even .500 ball and then maintain themselves anywhere close to that mark.


Notes:

Closer Huston Street has been used extensively in this home stand, but his stuff on Sunday night was still quite impressive. “He’s been used the last five out of six games. I like how he held his stuff through a six day period where he was used. He’s not pitching tomorrow, for the record,” Buddy Black said.

On Saturday between innings, the Padres featured someone dressed in a squirrel outfit running at breakneck speed on the field to entertain fans. The media seem to have made the squirrel their darling, referring to it as the rally squirrel. When asked on Sunday if the squirrel will be making the upcoming road trip to Chicago, Buddy replied, “He stays in California. He’s a California squirrel.”

The Padres begin a four-day road trip in Chicago on Monday, facing the Cubs for a four-game series. Monday’s match-up features Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.94) for the Padres against Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.03) throwing for the Cubs. Game time is 5:05 PM PDST, radio 1090 AM will have the call (860 AM for the Spanish version) and will be broadcast on television by Fox Sports San Diego. Except, of course, for the 22% in San Diego still stuck with Time Warner Cable. Apparently, TWC is more interested in giving their customers less while charging them more for it than they are in providing San Diego the opportunity to watch their professional baseball team in action. Very strange business model.

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