Sometimes when a team is on the cusp of winning -- after maintaining a stranglehold on a game most of the evening -- only to later find itself ensnared in an extra-inning affair, its morale and drive can understandably be taken away very quickly. Such was not the case for the Padres on Friday, however, as the team found a way to survive a rare Craig Kimbrel blown save to go on to an 8-3 victory over the Marlins at Marlins Park in 11 innings.
The final score was deceptive, suggesting the Padres might have had command over the entire game. But the Friars were only able to put up a crooked number because of a marathon rally, as San Diego sent 11 batters to the plate in the 11th inning.
The night opened with a stellar pitching performance by starter Ian Kennedy, who was initially thought to be unavailable for Friday's start due to the birth of his fourth child. Inclement weather had other plans for Kennedy, however, as he stayed put in South Beach to deliver seven strong innings of two-run baseball.
Kennedy would not factor into the final decision, unfortunately, as the Padres received uncharacteristic relief efforts from the usually reliable Joaquin Benoit and Kimbrel. With a 3-2 lead in the ninth with two outs, Kimbrel surrendered a solo shot to Derek Dietrich that tied the game and eventually sent the contest into extra frames. With free baseball on the menu for the fans, it was time for the Padres' offense to go to work. The Swinging Friars certainly came through in the 11th frame, delivering a five-run inning that put San Diego over the top.
The Padres recorded double-digits in the hit column for the third game in a row, as the team pounded out 12 hits en route to its eight-run output for the evening. Derek Norris continued his recent tear, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Will Venable, Yangervis Solarte and Jedd Gyorko each enjoyed multi-hit games, as well. Gyorko finished the day 3-for-4 with three RBIs -- with two of his RBIs coming during the Friars' 11th-inning rally. Venable actually collected two hits in that same 11th inning.
San Diego picked up its third win in a row and 11th in its last 15 contests. The Padres will try to keep rolling on Saturday, as Odrisamer Despaigne takes the hill against the Marlins' Jose Urena, looking to secure another road-series victory. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories that might have passed you by on Friday: