Finally Cashner got some love from the baseball gods tonight…and a win! It wasn’t easy but the Friars took care of the Angels 5-4 to take the series two games to one, and finish the Los Angeles road trip an even 3-3.
Cash has been the hard luck starter this year getting little run support and at times poor defensive back up as well with 12 unearned runs crossing while on the hill. Both the O and the D showed up for him tonight to support a solid 7-inning effort of his own.
A couple of doubles by Norris and Middlebrooks against Angels Starter Garrett Richards got the Pads on the board in the 2nd, 1-0. The lead was short lived, though, as the Halos answered with a double and single of their own to tie it up 1-1. There would have been even more damage had Amarista and Spangenberg not turned a slick 6-4-3 double play in the inning on a ball heading up the middle, with Alexi glove shoveling the ball to Cory who bare handed it and fired to first.
The Pads tagged Richards for two more in the 4th, with Middlebrooks again the producer this time with a 2-run HR over the left field wall to give the Friars a 3-1 nose up. The Angels refused to sit quietly and answered immediately with a run to trim the lead to 3-2. Cash worked a scoreless 5th but allowed a solo HR in the 6th to tie it, and again it started to look as though a solid starting effort might go unrewarded for him in the W column.
The fellas stepped up for him in the 7th though with another offensive push against Richards with Upton and Kemp each coming up with 2-out run scoring singles to put the Friars up 5-3. It wasn’t just support with the bats though for Cash, but with the leather as well with Venable for the second night in a row making a stellar catch, this time laying out full extension in the left field gap to deny extra bases and end the inning.
Maurer then came on for the third night in a row and had his 13 scoreless inning steak broke yielding a run in the 8th to cut the Pads lead to 5-4. I said it wasn’t an easy one tonight! Kimbrel also was asked to go for a third night in a row to close it out, and took care of the first two batters no problem. Giavotella then lined a 2-out single to the gap in right, but made a crucial miscalculation when he tried to extend it into a double challenging Kemp’s arm. Matt fired a perfect strike to second gunning him down for the final out – a dramatic ending to an exciting game!
Two very well played and hard fought wins put a nice end to the road trip for the Pads, and hopefully bring some positive momentum back home for the upcoming series against the Pirates.
More good news before we wrap this up. Yonder Alonso played his first rehab game in Lake Elsinore and went 1 for 3 with a walk. Assuming all continues to go smoothly he will play another game for the Storm on Thursday, then join the El Paso ball club for couple of games before hopefully being announced ready to return from the DL. Additionally Brandon Morrow continues to feel good and will throw a simulated game at Petco tomorrow, so his march towards rejoining the rotation continues to progress unhindered. Will Myers, mean while, continues to rest his left wrist from hitting, but received a good report from the Dr.’s that the swelling and fluid buildup continue to subside.
Kennedy will get the ball to start the homestand, with the first pitch tomorrow being fired by him at 7:10. Can’t wait for you to join Ted Leitner and myself for all the action on the Mighty 1090.