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In baseball, every starting pitcher is going to have a combination of good starts and bad starts, with more good starts resulting in helping the team get wins. On Sunday, Andrew Cashner had a good start for the Padres, but the Friars still lost to the Miami Marlins 6-2 on a walk-off grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks also lost, so now all five teams are within four games of each other in the standings in the National League West half-way through the season. Even though the Padres are enduring a lot of injuries, they have still had chances to gain in the division race and have been unable to maintain enough traction.

Sunday’s game is an example of how the club might be thinking about getting some relief help rather than to snag an expensive starting pitcher to enhance their chances at competing for the division title. Tyson Ross, who gave up the walk-off slam to the Marlins Jeff Mathis, was a starter who went on the disabled list back in April and was reinstated in May and found himself in the bull pen.

The game itself was a good pitcher’s duel for a while. Cashner gave up two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when with two outs, the Marlins went single – single – double and went on top 2-0.

That lasted until the top of the seventh inning when, with Yasmani Grandal on via a base on balls, Carlos Quentin took Marlins reliever Chad Qualls deep. For Quentin, it was his 9th home run of the year.

Video of Quenin’s blast here: http://wapc.mlb.com/sd/play/?content_id=28480891&topic_id=8879374&c_id=sd

The score was tied 2-2 and went to the bottom of the 9th inning, when Tyson Ross came in to relieve Luke Gregerson. Ross loaded the bases and with one out, Jeff Mathis, with a batting average of around .120, took Ross deep on a fastball left up in the zone and the Marlins celebrated the victory.

Ironically, the home run landed in the Padres bull pen. And if it isn’t truly irony, then perhaps it’s indicative of a team in need of bull pen help rather than making a reliever out of a starter out of necessity.


Notes:

On the injury front, nothing much has changed. Everth Cabrera (hamstring strain) is still on track to rehab a game in Ft. Wayne with the Tincaps, the Padres low-A affiliate. Jedd Gyorko is still testing the groin strain by performing pregame drills, and Yonder Alonso (broken wrist) is scheduled to start with baseball activities this week.

Monday, the Padres and Marlins wrap up the four-game wrap-around series. Jason Marquis (9-3, 3.99) will go for the Padres and face a young tough Jose Fernandez (4-4, 2.98) of the Marlins. Game time is 4:10 PM PDST, on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.

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