Well-rested Padres reliever escapes jam in seventh inning
By Beth Maiman
SAN DIEGO -- After starting pitcher Ian Kennedy gave up a home run and a triple, relief pitcher Brandon Maurer was called to the mound in the seventh with the tying run on third with no outs in Saturday's game against the Marlins.
It wasn't the most ideal situation for a relief pitcher, but Maurer was able to get three straight outs to end the inning, as the Padres defeated Miami, 3-1.
"Whenever you can not give up anybody else's run it's a good day," Maurer said. "[I] kept the momentum going, got us back in the dugout, we ended up scoring another, handed the ball over to the rest of the bullpen and got it done."
Interim manager Pat Murphy used the word "unbelievable" to describe Maurer's performance Saturday night.
"That whole Maurer sequence was just absolutely huge," Murphy said. "Maurer was filthy tonight."
Maurer entered Saturday's game coming off a performance where he struggled. On July 22, he allowed three hits and three runs in a 7-1 loss against the Giants.
So far this season, San Diego's relievers rank fifth in the NL for innings pitched. After a disappointing series against the Giants, Murphy spoke about the potential fatigue of the bullpen.
After Friday's 3-1 win against the Marlins, Murphy said the decision to let Andrew Cashner pitch through seven innings was partly due to wanting to rest Maurer.
"Give him two days like that, they pitch differently," Murphy said. "He needed that. Came in, he was on it -- man on third with nobody out -- to get out of that situation, the tying run at third, that was a huge turnaround."
Maurer said that he definitely felt more rested entering Saturday's game.
"Two days off puts you right back where you need to be," Maurer said.
Kennedy earned his sixth win of the season and credited Maurer for coming in strong.
"I was pumped up because that was huge, not just for myself, but for the team," Kennedy said. "It was good for him to come out there and get three big outs like that. He's a legit back-end reliever and it's impressive to watch him pitch."
Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.