Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
Padres down Orioles with last-minute heroics
Starter Andrew Cashner will be slighted in his excellent start as the Friars came back in the ninth inning to defeat the Orioles
If there is a doubt left in anyone’s mind concerning whether Andrew Cashner should be a starter or a reliever, a brief examination of Tuesday’s game holds proof that he’s more than ready in the starter’s role. Cash threw into the eighth inning, and the Padres scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to stun the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, 3-2.
Certainly, the ninth inning heroics will be lauded and getting over on Baltimore closer Jim Johnson will make headlines. But Cashner’s effort shouldn’t be relegated to nothing more than an honorable mention.
The Padres got on top of Baltimore in the second inning when Carlos Quentin blasted his fourth home run off of starter Chris Tillman. Cashner then gave up a home run to Ryan Flaherty in the bottom of the third inning, and both squads played a 1-1 tie for a long while.
The Orioles scored in the eighth inning, when Alexi Castilla ran for Flaherty after a walk, and he stole second base and took third on Nick Hundley’s throwing error, and then scored when Steve Pearce singled. But the Padres came back thanks to Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera in the top of the ninth inning, and Huston Street closed the affair nicely.
But Andrew Cashner’s effort shouldn’t be lost here. He gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. The bull pen wasn’t taxed, and Cash was efficient in his 92 pitches, and he gave his team the chance to come back in this game.
And the Padres needed it, after being swept by the Rays. The Orioles are a better team than they have in Tampa Bay, and this win was necessary. The Padres could use a win Wednesday as well. Especially what with going up against Freddy Garcia, a pitcher they cut in spring training.
This is baseball, in that yesterday’s cut is your next opponent. In that Andrew Cashner was supposed to have been a closer, but all arguments against him being a starter now seem moot in point. Cash is a starter, and a damned good one, lucky for the San Diego Padres.
Wednesday morning, the Baltimore Orioles will seek revenge on the San Diego Padres. Freddy Garcia was cut loose in spring training by the Friars but he’ll take his (0-1, 4.26) record on the hill for the Orioles against Jason Marquis (4-2, 3.48) for the Padres. Game time is 9:35 AM PDST, so brew your coffee and tune in. Radio 1090 AM is there for you, along with Fox Sports San Diego. Time Warner Cable survivors can find their favorite early-morning bar and suck down some bloody marys, and accept our condolences.