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If only the Padres had a slew of pitchers like Eric Stults, the prolific offense they often seek wouldn’t be such a necessity. Stults pitched eight full innings and struck out twelve, and the Padres went extra innings to beat the Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday evening.

The Vedder Cup is assured to remain in San Diego, as the best that the Mariners can do at this point is to tie the four-game series and the Padres won it last season, so it stays. But it took a good late rally by the team in order to retain it.

Tied 1-1 going into the ninth inning, Huston Street allowed a home run to Jason Bay, and the Padres tied it back up in the bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Blanks. In the bottom of the tenth, Will Venable hit a walk-off single that drove home Chris Denorfia, and the Cup was secured.

Not everyone shares in the celebration of the Vedder Cup. Jedd Gyorko is still trying to reach an understanding of its importance and relevance. “Yeah, someone explained it all to me,” Jedd said. “I still don’t get it.”

One baseball writer called it “stupid” and thought that it was only amusing the first time, but that it is now “tired”. For the rest of us, it’s a time-honored tradition. And it’s about time that the years and years of seething hatred between San Diego and Seattle received a well-deserved event to shoulder the frustrating tensions that fans from both sides endure.

Even Padres manager Buddy Black acknowledged the importance of the Vedder Cup. “Oh, yeah, I guess we won that since we at least get a tie in this series,” Black muttered as he walked up the steps out of the clubhouse and into the dugout to answer questions from media.


Notes:

Reliever Anthony Bass was optioned to AAA Tucson on Thursday and the Padres recalled Nick Vincent. Nick spent some time with the big club last season, going 2-0 with a 1.71 earned run average in a little over 26 innings pitched.

Thursday, the last game of the Vedder Cup will be a day game at Petco Park. Andrew Cashner (4-2, 3.38) will go for the Padres against Felix Hernandez (5-4, 2.51) of the Mariners. Game time is 12:40 PM PDST, on 1090 AM by radio or Fox Sports San Diego if you’re near a screen that carries it.

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