Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
Padres keeping close to even in spring training
After dropping a game to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, the Padres rebound to rout the Oakland Athletics on Monday
Sunday wasn't as kind to the Padres as was Monday, but it's spring training and these things happen and in the end there are some positives to take from any loss. Like the return of Andrew Cashner, who threw a brilliant inning, and Huston Street continues to dazzle, but the Padres bats were cool on Sunday, this is what happens.
In the third inning, Padres starter Jason Marquis was fronted a lead, when Mark Kotsay doubled home two runs, and the Padres led 2-0. Marquis was great in the four innings he pitched, giving up only two hits while striking out a pair.
But the rest of Sunday's game was all about the Cubs offense. Tim Stauffer pitched a flawless fifth inning for the Padres but he ran into trouble in the sixth.
After giving up two singles, Stauffer got two outs but then gave up a double to Alfonso Soriano which plated both runners on base. And a home run by Dioner Navarro drove in Soriano, and the Cubs led 4-0 and the Padres had no answer.
Cashner came in for the seventh inning and effectively disposed of the Cubs hitter in order, coming off of surgery to repair a tendon in his thumb from a hunting accident (a knife into the wrong spot while helping a pal field-dress a kill). But the Cubs teed-off on Padres reliever Dale Thayer in the eighth inning.
Jorge Soler led off with a home run, and then Thayer gave up a single and a walk and then another single for a run, and after a sacrifice fly, the Cubs led 7-2.
Christian Villanueva then came up and hit a home run, and the Cubs took a 9-2 lead. The Padres got a run in the ninth when Rico Noel doubled, took third base on a ground out, and then scored on a single from Yasmani Grandal, but that was all they could manage and the Cubs beat the Padres 9-3.
Monday was an entirely different story. The Padres scored three in the first inning after Alexi Amarista and Chase Headley singled with one out, and then Yonder Alonso grounded out, plating Amarista.
Kyle Blanks then doubled home Headley, and Nick Hundley doubled home Blanks. Padres starting pitcher Tyler Ross was handed a 3-0 lead early.
The Padres added on in the second inning when prospect Jonathan Galvez led off with a home run. Travis Buck hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and the Padres were rolling.
In the Padres fifth, Alexi Amarista doubled with one out, and an out later, Yonder Alonso hit a home run to right field. Up 7-0. the Padres added on in the sixth inning.
Travis Buck opened the inning with a single, replaced by pinch-runner Travis Jankowski. Jonathan Galvez then singled and Jankowski took third base, and then scored on a wild pitch with Galvez taking second base.
James Darnell was hit by a pitch and Jeudy Valdez drew a walk to load the bases. Gregorio Petit then walked and another run scored and the Padres were in front 9-0.
The seventh inning saw the last run scored in the game when Kyle Gaedele singled and Travis Jankowski doubled, and Maxx Tissenbaum grounded out, plating Gaedele. The Padres went up 10-0 and that was how it ended.
Tyler Ross went three innings to get the win, and Don Roach went a couple, followed by Huston Street, Miles Mikolas, Brad Boxberger, and Sean O'Sullivan with an inning each. The victory puts the Padres at eight wins and nine losses in Cactus League play.
Cashner's return on Sunday was ahead of schedule, as he wasn't expected to return until the regular season was well underway. With several pitchers battling for the fifth spot in the rotation, including Tyson Ross - who pitched well on Monday - the return of Andrew Cashner and the possibility that he can get his pitch count high enough to be considered in the mix lends more drama to what is likely otherwise a set roster come April.
Cuts have happened in camp and more are coming, the divisive nature of baseball begins to reveal itself. Gone yesterday are Edinson Rincon, Yeison Asencio, and Adys Portillo, all optioned to the minor leagues. They join Auston Hedges, Johnny Barbato, Wilfredo Boscan, and Rymer Liriano (who is on the disabled list and recovering from Tommy John surgery) from Sunday, preceded by Jose De Paula, Jason Hagerty, and Jerry Sullivan earlier. Expect this list to grow daily from here on out.
Tuesday, the Padres play a night game in Scottsdale against the San Fransisco Giants. Game time is at 7:05 PM PDST (and Arizona time) and can be watched on Fox Sports San Diego. Unless you have Time Warner, and we pity you if you have to put up with their nonsense. It's ridiculous to think that EVERY CABLE AND SATELLITE OUTLET carries the Padres except for Time Warner. Even the Mayor of San Diego is ticked off about it. We're not sure about his politics, but we admire his seething angry attitude.