San Diego’s bats weren’t flying. In eight innings, the Pads only had three singles, no runners further than second base and zero runs. It wasn’t until the ninth inning, that the Friars scored their only run in the game.
It started with Carlos Asuaje’s singled and pinch-runner Matt Szczur stole second base. Two pitchers later, Szczur scored off a Freddy Galvis RBI single that went to right field, past a diving first baseman Ryan Braun, to tie the game and sent it into extra innings.
“For a guy just sitting there all day to come in, get a good read and have the guts to go and be safe, that was big for us,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “It gave us an opportunity to try to win the baseball game.”
But the story Thursday is the defense. San Diego starter Clayton Richard pitched a scoreless six innings and only gave up one run in the seventh inning.
The infield also made an impressive showing in the 12-inning loss Thursday. Chase Headley made a double play at the top of the first inning, followed by Galvis with a double play of his own one inning later when he backhanded the ball to Carlos Asuaje, who completed the play.
“It changed the complexion of the game,” Richard said. “When that happens — and it’s going to happen consistently because those guys are those types of players — it’s a great asset for us to have.”
The Pads had a chance to put away at the bottom of the 11th inning with bases loaded. Jose Pirela blooped a single past Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana, but Eric Hosmer was stuck at third base. Next up was Chase Hadley, who drove a hard ground ball to third base where Travis Shaw had a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
For game 2 of the series Friday, twenty-four-year-old lefty Joey Lucchesi will make his major league debut in place of Dinelson Lamet, who is on the DL with an injured elbow. Lucchesi is a top-10 prospect and in four Cactus League starts, he allowed only two earned runs.
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