Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Enormous blast from Kyle Blanks not enough for Padres to get by Rangers
The Texas Rangers beat the Padres in Peoria on Saturday in spite of a monstrously long home run from Kyle Blanks
If there was ever any doubt about how much power the bat of Kyle Blanks could possibly wield, then those doubts should have been shed on Saturday in Peoria. In the bottom of the sixth inning with a man on, Blanks unloaded a canon shot that hit the top of the scoreboard in left field.
Unfortunately for the Padres, it was too little and too late, and it was against a squad for the Rangers that were non-starters since the Rangers played their regular line-up in a split-squad game elsewhere. The Padres staked the Texas Rangers to a five run lead and the home run was all of the rallying they could manage, and the Rangers beat the Padres 5-2.
Eric Stults got the start for the Padres, and gave up an unearned run in the first inning. With one out, Craig Gentry reached on an error by Chase Headley, and Gentry then stole second base. An out later, Jeff Baker singled and Gentry scored and it was 1-0, Rangers.
In the top of the third, Stults gave up two more runs when with one out, Gentry singled and Brandon Allen homered. Texas led the Padres 3-0.
The Rangers added on in the top of the fifth inning with Anthony Bass in his second inning of work. With one out, Jeff Baker singled and Jim Adduci hit a home run that barely cleared the fence in left field, which brought the Rangers to a 5-0 lead over the Padres.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Padres got their two runs when Chase Headley walked and was then replaced by Gregorio Petit as a pinch-runner. Two outs later with Yoshinori Tateyama on the hill for the Rangers, Kyle Blanks hit a pitch on a one-ball and two-strike count that looked like it might have a shot at clearing the scoreboard, but hit the top instead.
The tremendous bomb plated Petit and the Padres trailed 5-2. There was no rally, as the Padres bats could get by the nine pitchers used in the game by the Rangers, and that stood as the final score.
The Padres could manage to get only six hits to thirteen by Texas. In Cactus League play, the Padres fell to 7-8 while the Rangers improved to 5-7 in spring training.
There was a "B" game prior to the contest with the Rangers, against the Seattle Mariners who share the Peoria Sports Complex with the Padres. The 6-inning contest - meaningless in standings and statistically, came out in favor of the Mariners, 6-3 over the Padres. Starter Robbie Erlin got lit up, giving up 4 runs on six hits - including a home run - while facing only seven Mariners batters. Carlos Quentin played in the contest and went 1 for 3, and Padres prospect Rico Noel was 3 for 3.
Sunday, the Padres will travel to Mesa to face the Chicago Cubs. The game starts at 1:05 PM PST (including Arizona, as daylight saving time begins tomorrow and the State of Arizona snubs its nose at the concept of saving daylight), and can be picked up via podcast at the padres.com website. Scheduled pitchers include Jason Marquis, Tim Stauffer, Dale Thayer, Tommy Layne, Daniel Stange, and Arturo Lopez.