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Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
After coming home from a seven-game road trip where they won three and lost four, the Padres faced the National League Eastern Division-leading Atlanta Braves on Monday evening. The Padres offense was efficient in stranding no runners, and it turned out they needed to be as they held on to beat the Braves 7-6.
“The ninth inning got away from us a little bit, but we had a big enough cushion. The end result is what you look for,” manager Buddy Black said.
Starter Jason Marquis pitched well and long, being lifted with two outs in the eighth inning and a 7-2 lead. Tim Stauffer then came in to close the game in the ninth, but gave up a three-run home run to pinch hitter Evan Gattis.
Dale Thayer then came in and got the second out, but gave up a home run to Jason Heyward and the Braves were within a run before Thayer managed to strike out Justin Upton to end the game. Thayer earned his first save of the season for his efforts.
But the story was Jason Marquis, who relies on his sinker complimented by a slider and a couple of different off-speed pitches. Going that deep into a game helps the relief pitchers – who were used heavily on the road trip – to rest up.
“It’s taxing on our bull pen,” Jason said concerning the four games the Padres played in Colorado before coming home. “It’s good to get them some good rest. I try to go as deep as possible and give those guys a rest. We have all the confidence in them but it’s tough when you’re tired as a team.”
Will Venable and Logan Forsythe hit home runs for the Padres, Forsythe’s traveling 445 feet. Logan also singled and walked in his other plate appearances, and is perfect in his debut since suffering from plantar fasciitis before the regular season began.
“It felt good just to get out there with the guys,” said Forsythe. “About a week ago the foot stopped hurting. Down in [AAA affiliate] Tucson I played three nights in a row, and no problem.
Forsythe was recalled when Jedd Gyorko went on the disabled list with a right groin strain earlier in the day. To make room for Forsythe on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated John Baker for assignment from AAA Tucson.
If Baker is claimed by another club, it would be an unfortunate loss for the Padres organization. John’s hitting wasn’t so swell this season, but his defense, ability to call a game, and attitude in his back-up role are great assets.
No earth-shaking news on the injury front. Jedd Gyorko’s groin strain will need time, perhaps even beyond the 15 days he has to remain on the disabled list before coming off. Yonder Alonso’s broken hand will take at least four weeks, perhaps longer. Huston Street appears ready to start throwing soon, a rehab assignment was discussed as a possibility very soon.
Tuesday, the Braves and Padres will go at it again. San Diego will offer Andrew Cashner (4-3, 3.68) while Tim Hudson (4-5, 4.48) will take the hill for Atlanta. Game time is at 7:10 PM PDST, with radio coverage on 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.