Padres show resourcefulness, determination in comeback win
Kemp cites club's character, never-say-die attitude: 'We just grinded it out'
By Owen Perkins
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- The Padres ended their seesaw battle with the Rockies on Tuesday with a four-run rally in the eighth inning, tying the Rockies then taking a two-run lead and holding it for a 7-6 victory, their sixth comeback win out of their 10 on the season.
After posting big innings early and often in Monday's 14-3 series-opening rout, the Padres waited until the 11th hour Tuesday, bringing eight batters to the plate in the eighth and getting runs every which way they could.
Down 5-3 with six outs left, Will Middlebrooks sparked the rally with his second hit of the night, a single to center. Jedd Gyorko went down swinging, and left-hander Boone Logan took the mound for the Rockies, promptly hitting Yonder Alonso with a pitch to put two on. Yangervis Solarte came in as a pinch-hitter and dropped a lazy single into right -- soft enough to allow Middlebrooks time to score from second and send Alonso to third with the potential tying run.
"Our guys battled," manager Bud Black said. "It was great. We had some good at-bats. We kept scratching and clawing and doing what we need to do and got contributions all the way through the lineup. Soly's pinch-hit little dorker was huge."
Alexi Amarista, who entered in the seventh as a pinch-hitter, dropped a safety squeeze to the pitcher, but Logan fielded it flawlessly and cut down Alonso at the plate for the second out. Wil Myers picked up the club with his third hit of the night, a run-scoring single to left that sent Solarte home with the tying run, setting up Derek Norris for his two-run double past the reach of center fielder Drew Stubbs for the game-winner.
"I've always hit lefties a little better than righties, most righties do," said Norris of his second double on the night. "Just looking for a decent pitch in the strike zone just to put the barrel to, not necessarily trying to go to right-center, but just put a good swing on a decently thrown pitch."
It capped a big inning with a lot of little hits, a hit batsman and an unsuccessful squeeze, and it represented the resourceful Friars and their determination to use whatever weapons they need to get a "W" in the end.
"We were just battling," said Matt Kemp, who flied to center for the final out of the inning. "Getting on base one at a time. Trying to make some things happen. I'm real proud of this team. Every game we've been behind we've at least fought to try and get back in the game and given ourselves a chance to win. That shows the character of our team. No teams can take us lightly, because we're always going to stay in it and try to win games. We just grinded it out and we got the win."
In the clubhouse, what mattered most were the contributions from every corner of the roster.
"It's a 25-man effort," Norris said. "We had a starting pitcher [Andrew Cashner] pinch-running for us tonight. We got guys coming off the bench and contributing, guys coming in and doing a great job of filling in. That's all you can ask for."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.