It took eleven innings to do it, but the Padres pulled off yet another come from behind victory, this one 5-3 over the Braves. For the second series on a row the Friars took the opener, and they used a familiar formula of forcing a bullpen showdown then coming up with the clutch at bat to take it.
The Pads actually drew first blood against Shelby Miller in the 2nd with an Alonso single, and Spangenberg double to drive him in. That lead didn’t last long, however, as Kennedy ran into trouble in the 3rd. He surrendered four consecutive hits which plated three runs. With a rapidly rising pitch count he lasted through the 5th but kept the score at 3-1.
Miller was tough and lasted through the 7th, and then gave way to the bullpen with the highest ER in the N.L. It was the opening that the Padres were waiting for. Venable opened the 8th with a double and eventually scored on a ground out by Upton to cut the deficit to 3-2. Meanwhile the Pads ‘pen was doing it’s thing as usual…it’s “thing’ being posting zeros. Thanks to Thayer, Garces, and Quackenbush the Braves were unable to extend their lead and it stayed 3-2 into the 9th.
Alonso put together a tough at bat to start the 9th and ultimately lined double down the left field line. Buddy pinch ran for him with the newly activated former Brave Melvin Upton, Jr. The braves tried a pick off move on him at second base, but the ball ended up in center field and Melvin at third base. Spangenberg hit a del fly ball to left which scored Upton, Jr. and the game was tied. Benoit pitched a scoreless 9th, and Maurer a flawless 10th.
Justin Upton walked to open the 11th. He stole second to set the stage for Kemp to drive him in. Hitting he ball the last few games as good as he has all season Kemp came through and crushed a slider off the left field wall to score Upton and give the Pads their first lead of the night 4-3. He wasn’t done yet, though, and as Amarista showed bunt Kemp took a huge lead off second essentially challenging Pierzinsky to throw down behind him in a pick off attempt. The Braves catcher took the bait and as he released the ball Kemp took off for third and easily slid in safely. That took the bunt sign away from Ninja and he doubled to right-center field to plate Kemp and increase the Friar lead to 5-3.
There was nothing the Braves could do a that point except watch their former closer, Kimbrel, enter the game and seal their fate, which he did 1-2-3. When it was all over the Pads had a 5-3 come from behind victory, while the three former Braves, Kemp and the Upton brothers all had a hand in their former teams’ undoing. Sweet!!!
Tomorrow Shields will get the pill and the first pitch will be tossed at 4:10 PST. Uncle Teddy and I will be excited to have you with us for all the action on the Mighty 1090.