SAN FRANCISCO– Tyson Ross threw six solid innings, Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead home run in the 9th, and Brad Hand rebounded from Monday’s tough outing to record the save in a 3-2 Padres victory.
San Diego improved to 11-20 on the season while San Francisco fell to 15-15.
Hosmer hits clutch homer
The $144 million man lives for the big moments, and he came through in one of those tonight.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Eric Hosmer came up to the plate against Giants closer Hunter Strickland. Heading into the at-bat, Strickland had yet to allow a base hit to a left handed hitter this season.
Ahead 2-1 in the count, Hosmer hit a 93 mile-per-hour fastball 376 feet over the left field fence to give his team a 3-2 lead. Brad Hand came on to retire the Giants 1-2-3 in the bottom half to clinch the victory.
“I was just hunting for a good pitch,” Hosmer stated after the game. “That is what I have been trying to do as of late, just try to stay in my zone and find good pitches to hit.”
The home run added to what has been a very impressive start to Hosmer’s Padres career. The slugger is now hitting .298 with a .402 OBP and a 153 wRC+. The RBI total (5) is low, but it is an extremely misleading number. Up to this point of the season, he has not exactly had many people on base when he has come up to the plate.
Tonight, Hosmer proved why he deserved the big contract that he signed in the offseason. San Diego is hoping this is just the beginning.
Two starts removed from flirting with a no-hitter, Tyson Ross pitched very well on Tuesday night. The veteran right-hander fired six innings of four hit, one run ball. He walked three and struck out nine while generating 14 whiffs.
The run that Ross did allow had a very good chance of being prevented. Andrew McCutchen‘s RBI single in the fifth left the bat at 92.5 MPH and scooted past third baseman Christian Villanueva. While it was not a “routine” play by any means, it was certainly a play that could have been made.
Ross ended up throwing 102 pitches on the night, with 64 of them going for strikes. Six starts into his season, Ross’s ERA sits a 3.28.
Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski both made outstanding plays in the outfield tonight.
In the first, Margot robbed RF Andrew McCutchen of extra bases with a great play in center field. The 23-year-old raced back to make the catch while colliding with the fence in right-center field. He held on for an impressive grab and a big out early in the ballgame:
“There’s not many right fielders who catch that baseball,” said Andy Green after the game. “Especially with as much havoc as the wind was wreaking up there.”
Villanueva keeps crushing lefties
Fresh off a very strong April, Padres rookie 3B Christian Villanueva continued his strong campaign with a first inning blast over the left field fence. It was, guess what, off of a left handed pitcher.
Heading into Tuesday, Villanueva was sporting a lofty .481/.533/1.296 slashline in 27 at-bats against left handed pitching. He continued his assault on southpaws tonight with a home run that got the Padres off and running.