The Padres needed to start their East Coast road trip off on the right foot after they sustained two tough losses against the Phillies at Petco Park on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thankfully, San Diego’s hitters teed off and Edinson Volquez limited his mistakes this evening as the Friars rolled to a 9-2 win over the Marlins.
I was particularly pleased with how well the Padres’ lineup manufactured runs against Ricky Nolasco and the rest of Miami’s pitching staff.
Overall, I was impressed with how every San Diego starter, except for Pedro Ciriaco, recorded at least one hit. While the production was from top to bottom tonight, Logan Forsythe and Will Venable did the most damage at the plate. After he made two critical errors in the 13th inning of San Diego’s last loss, Forsythe responded in game one of this series with three hits and a home run out of the leadoff spot. Venable also shined tonight as well, and the outfielder recorded three singles and drove in three runs to boot.
San Diego’s lineup finally broke the game wide-open in the top of the sixth when they forced Nolasco from the game before he could record an out in the inning. The Padres’ first four hitters recorded hits against Miami’s starter to push San Diego’s lead from 3-2 to 5-2. Then after Nolasco was replaced by Ryan Webb, the Friars scored again thanks to some heads up base running by Yasmani Grandal who may or may not have beat the throw to the plate after a force out at second base was bobbled.
The 6-2 lead was more than enough for Volquez to work with, and the right-hander did a fine job of limiting his mistakes as he avoided the “big inning” over six frames against the Marlins.
Even though Volquez gave up two runs in the game’s first three innings, courtesy of a Logan Morrison triple and a Giancarlo Stanton double, he controlled the strike zone well enough to keep Miami’s hitters from hurting him too much. Volquez struck out eight and issued only walk to notch his sixth win of the 2013 season.
I would also like to give kudos to Nick Vincent and the recently called-up Burch Smith for their work in the bullpen too. Both pitchers combined to throw three innings of scoreless baseball as they kept any sort of Miami comeback at bay. Although they pitched with a large lead against a last place team, it was still nice to see Bud Black giving some of his younger arms in the bullpen extra work. Moreover, it was nice to see members of the bullpen not melting down in crucial situations.
Bullpen feelings aside, it was still nice to see the Friars respond well after their last two losses. Tomorrow, the Friars will send Eric Stults to the hill at 4:10 EDT as the team will try to capitalize on their first win of their East Coast road trip.
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