Scott Marks 9:44 a.m., May 21
Padres lose a pair as the squad spilts and fails to rally on either front
The San Diego Padres lost to the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe and simultaneously dropped a decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Tucson to even their overall record in Cactus League play
The good news for the San Diego Padres is that they are probably outperforming their spring training expectation, but the bad news is that they are probably not as deep in pitching as they would like to see in late March. The spring training squad split on Sunday and both halves lost, one to the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 7-4 in Tempe, and the other fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the later innings in Tucson, 8-6.
In Tucson, the issue certainly wasn't hitting, as the Padres had 17 total in nine innings. Thad Weber gave up 4 runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief to give Arizona an advantage, and even though the Padres squad came back with 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game, Daniel Stange and Jorge Reyes each gave up a run in the top of the eighth and ninth innings to help lift the Diamondbacks to the victory.
The squad in Tucson was mostly made up of minor league players for the Padres, but they put up a good effort against Arizona offensively. Rico Noel was 3 for 5, Jonathan Galvez went 2 for 5, and Kyle Blanks also hit 2 for 5.
Cody Decker had an outstanding day with a 3 for 5 effort, and Rene Rivera was 2 for 5 at the plate. Travis Buck, Cody Ransom, Eddie Rodriguez, Gregorio Petit, and Kyle Gaedele also added hits for the Friars' offense, but it wasn't enough to get by the Diamondbacks.
Sean O'Sullivan got the start for San Diego and went three innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out three Diamondbacks hitters. Weber relieved O'Sullivan and then Jeremy McBryde, Arturo Lopez, Stange, and Reyes closed it out for San Diego.
Meanwhile in Tempe, the other half of the team went to face the Los Angeles Angels, and dropped a 7-4 decision there. Freddy Garcia took the loss after going five innings and giving up 6 runs on 6 hits and a walk and striking out four Angels hitters.
Brad Brach came in relieving Garcia and gave up a run on two hits, but then Dale Thayer, Joe Thatcher, and Brad Boxberger came in and were flawless in relief. The Padres matched the Angels in hits with eight, but they weren't as well-placed.
Jedd Gyorko went 2 for 3, and hits by Everth Cabrera, Chris Denorfia, Alexi Amarista, Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, and Cameron Maybin rounded out the hitting attack for the Padres. But after getting off to a 6-1 lead after five innings, San Diego couldn't mount a rally.
The Padres now sit at an even 12-12 in Cactus League spring training. While the fringe pitching (based on who might or might not make the roster on opening day) remains a concern, at least the hitting looks to be much improved from players expected to be on the roster on April Fool's Day in New York.
Chase Headley has apparently jammed his thumb during Sunday's game against the Angels. According to MLB.com writer Alden Gonzalez, it happened while Chase was trying to break up a double play. X-rays have been taken and will be evaluated on Monday. Headley left the game after the top of the first inning and was not immediately available to media after the game.
There is a single game on Monday, played in Peoria, against the Chicago Cubs. While not carried on radio nor on television, Andy Masur and Jerry Coleman will netcast the game at MLB.com at 1:05 PM PDST if you're near a computer. Next televised game is supposed to be on the 22nd of this month. Unless you have Time Warner, and then it's the 12th of never. Unless Mayor Filner finds some sort of a loophole on their contract. Here's to hoping.