The Arizona Diamondbacks versus the San Diego Padres. A battle of bottom-heavy NL West teams playing in front of nobody at SD's Petco Park. Totally not-see TV, right? Well, we will see what happens in the latter two games of the three-game set, but last night's donnybrook was actually pretty entertaining.
The D-Backs led throughout in front of an announced attendance of 20,265, thanks to the pitching and hitting prowess of Billy Buckner. In the second inning, the right-hander singled home Miguel Montero and Mark Reynolds to stake the snakes to a 2-0 lead. It looked like Arizona would ride the arm of the 26-year old all night, but then things came crashing down in the Padres' half of the sixth when Chase Headley drove in Tony Gwynn with a single. Then, in the seventh, Bucker committed a critical throwing error, which eventually led to an inherited runner tying the ball game.
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Goose eggs were the norm until the top of the tenth. Facing San Diego reliever Adam Russell, Gerardo Parra stroked a one-out single. Trent Oeltjen, pinch running for Parra, advanced to second on Ryan Roberts' single. Then, Oeltjen scored the go-ahead run on a Brandon Allen single to center. But the scoring wasn't done as Roberts, running aggressively on contact, plated another one on Alex Romero's 1-3 groundout to make the score 4-2.
Juan Gutierrez pitched a perfect tenth for his fourth-career save. All in all, a pretty entertaining and decently played game between two teams that are 21 and 23 games out of first place.
The two square off once again tonight at 7:05 p.m. when Arizona's Dan Haren (13-8, 2.82 ERA) takes the mound against San Diego's Wade LeBlanc (2-1, 5.01 ERA). TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR-620 AM. More info at www.dbacks.com.