Saturday's "middle-match" between the Rockies and Padres featured another exciting see-saw battle between two NL West rivals that remained up for grabs until the very last at-bat of the game. Fortunately for the Friars, Saturday's back-and-forth contest ended in favor of San Diego as the Padres rallied in the ninth for three runs and secured a 7-5 comeback victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.
Starter Andrew Cashner delivered a decent outing for the Friars as Cash surrendered four earned runs on seven hits and two strikeouts while keeping the ball in the ballyard over five plus innings. Following Cashner's exit, the Padres bullpen sent out Marc Rzepczynski, Bud Norris and Kevin Quackenbush to keep the Rockies within reach as the Friars fought to keep Colorado close as the game wore on.
Quackenbush supplied some solid relief work, surrendering only one hit and recording a strikeout over two innings of shutout baseball, and would ultimately be rewarded with his second victory of the season. Looking to secure a 'W' for both the Padres and Quackenbush as the team rallied late, Pat Murphy called upon closer Craig Kimbrel to take the hill and collect his 33rd save of the season.
Meanwhile, the Padres offense continued to produce on Saturday as the Swinging Friars pounded out 11 hits en route to scoring seven runs while posting a respectable 4-for-9 mark at the plate with runners in scoring position. Outfielder Matt Kemp, who solidified his place in Padres' lore with the franchises' first ever cycle on Friday, extended his current hitting streak to nine-straight games while also recording an RBI to put the Padres on top in the first inning. Kemp's RBI total for the year now stands at 68.
Infielder Jedd Gyorko continued to produce at the plate as well, as Gyorko collected two RBI on the day and went 1-fo-4 with a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning. Justin Upton and Derek Norris each enjoyed multi-hit days at the plate while recently recalled infielder Cory Spangenberg delivered off the bench to help spark a late three-run rally in the ninth inning. Additionally, Brett Wallace delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth to help put the Padres on top and guarantee at least a series victory for the Friars in Colorado.
Prior to the Padres timely three-run rally in the ninth, first baseman Yonder Alonso was apparently injured when an errant throw of a helmet by Justin Upton struck him in the head and resulted in Alonso being replaced in the bottom half of the frame. Alonso seemed OK, however, and was not determined to be suffering from any concussion like symptoms after the blow to the head.
The Padres will close out their short three-game road trip with a Sunday series finale against the Rockies as Ian Kennedy takes the hill to face off against Chris Rusin. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories that may have passed you by on Saturday: