Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
Padres home at last to drop Giants
Coming home fresh off of getting swept in Los Angeles, Padres take it out on the Giants
Perhaps the Padres just needed to come home. Or maybe they needed to play a team like the reeling San Francisco Giants. In either case, the Friars beat the Padres 4-1 on Monday despite managing to get only four hits.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Padres staked starter Ian Kennedy to an early lead. With one out, Giants pitcher Barry Zito walked Kyle Blanks and Logan Forsythe, and Ronny Cedeno singles, driving in Blanks and moving Forsythe to third base.
After Ian Kennedy walked to load the bases, Chris Denofria singled home Forsythe and Cedeno. Kennedy inherited a 3-0 lead and never looked back.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with one out, Nick Hundley added a run by planting a Zito cut fastball over the left-center field fence. Ian Kennedy took the hill in the top of the fifth inning with a 4-0 lead.
The fifth was the only inning that gave Kennedy much trouble. After Gregor Blanco walked, Roger Kieschnick singled, moving Blanco to second. With one out, Marco Scutaro gounded into a force out to short that erased Kieschnick at second base and moved Blanco to third.
Now with two outs, Brandon Belt doubled home Blanco, but that was all that Kennedy gave up. Kennedy’s final line was just the one run on five hits and a pair of walks, while striking out seven in six full innings of work.
Nick Vincent, Tommy Layne, and Luke Gregerson combined for two innings of relief, and Huston Street came in and notched his 26th save of the season.
The victory for the Padres meant getting out of the cellar all alone in the National League West. They are now tied with the Giants for that dubious distinction.
The Padres and Giants have an identical 61-76 record and will continue this series for the battle of fourth place in the division. After Wednesday, the clubs will meet for three games in San Francisco and both clubs will try to not be in the position of battling to not wind up the season in last place.
The Padres have called up a tandem of relief pitchers now that the rostes have been expanded and AAA Tucson’s season has ended. Anthony Bass, Brad Boxberger, and Brad Brach have all been called up and are in the clubhouse. All three have been called up previously, several times this season.
Tuesday, the series continues with Robbie Erlin (2-2, 5.97) throwing for the Padres and going up against Madison Bumgarner (11-2, 2.91) of the Giants. Game time is 7:10 PM PDST at Petco Park, or listen on 1090 AM or watch on Fox Sports San Diego.