Takeaways from the Padres’ 2-1 win over the Cardinals

SAN DIEGO– Tyson Ross pitched six strong innings, the Padres bullpen held the Cardinals in check, and Eric Hosmer lined a walk-off RBI double in the 13th off Cardinals reliever Mike Mayers to give the Padres a 2-1 win in front of 32,715 at Petco Park.

San Diego improved to 15-26, while St. Louis fell to 22-15.

Takeaways

1998 team celebrated, Kevin Towers inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame

 

Strong outing for Tyson Ross

With starter Eric Lauer having only thrown 2 1/3 innings a night ago, San Diego needed a strong start from right-hander Tyson Ross on Saturday evening. Ross delivered just that.

The 31-year-old threw six innings on three-hit, one-run ball. He walked two batters while striking out seven.

In his previous start, Ross was cruising until he allowed four runs in the sixth inning in an 8-5 loss to the Washington Nationals. In the sixth inning tonight, Ross hit leadoff hitter Paul DeJong with a pitch and then surrendered a game-tying double to Jose Martinez. However, unlike Monday in which the inning got out of hand, the veteran bore down and retired the 4-5-6 hitters in the Cardinals’ order to keep the game tied.

Tyson Ross continues to impress after signing a minor-league deal this winter. He generated 13 swinging strikes tonight and is now striking out batters at a 10.01 K/9 clip. His ERA is down to 3.40 in eight starts.

Unfortunately for Ross, his counterpart matched him pretty much pitch-for-pitch. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha also threw six innings; allowing three hits and one run. He struck out five and walked a batter; not allowing a hit after a Manuel Margot single in the second inning.

 

Lack of execution in the 9th

In the bottom of the 9th, the Padres seemed poised for a walk off. Jose Pirela began the inning with a bloop single off Cardinals right-hander Bud Norris. Franchy Cordero then worked a five pitch walk to put runners on first and second with nobody out.

With ducks on the pond, manager Andy Green decided to pinch-hit Cory Spangenberg for Christian Villanueva. The idea was for the recently recalled infielder to drop a sac bunt down to put the two runners in scoring position.

Spangenberg took the first pitch for a strike, took ball one, and then squared to bunt and fouled it off. With two strikes, Spangenberg popped up a bunt foul behind the plate.

Strike 3.

“You got to get the bunt down, that’s really what it comes down to,” Andy Green said.

When asked about whether or not he kept the bunt sign with two strikes, Green said: “it got to a point where we took it off, and he stayed with it.”

Raffy Lopez and Freddy Galvis followed Spangenberg with strikeouts, and off to the tenth the game went.

It was an interesting decision, to say the least. Especially given the Padres’ strikeout struggles this season.

Padres walk it off in 13

Despite the ninth inning troubles and the inability to get another run home, the Padres bullpen kept the score deadlocked at one until the bottom of the 13th.

AJ Ellis and Travis Jankowski each led the inning off with seven pitch walks off reliever John Brebbia. Following the latter of the walks, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny brought Mike Mayers on in relief.

On the very first pitch that Mayers threw, Eric Hosmer delivered his 9th career walk off hit with an RBI double down the right field line.

“I was just trying to get a good swing on something. I felt like I was just missing balls all night, so I was really trying to get on time and get a good pitch and not miss it,” Hosmer said after the game.

Speaking of the bullpen….

The San Diego bullpen was phenomenal tonight. Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Brad Hand, Phil Maton, and Adam Cimber combined to throw seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven.

“The pitching was outstanding for us tonight,” said manager Andy Green. “You can’t ask for much more out of that group of guys.”

Jankowski keeps impressing out of leadoff spot

The Padres’ right fielder went 2-4 with a two walks tonight, increasing his average to .368 in 38 at-bats. He saw 35 pitches in his six at-bats.

The Stony Brook alum continues to impress out of the leadoff spot in the Padres lineup. He is now 12-for-30 (.400) as a leadoff hitter this season.

Solving Jedd Gyorko.. at least for one night

Jedd Gyorko went 1-5 tonight, striking out twice. He was 21-for-40 with eight home runs against his former club entering Saturday’s game.