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Meaningless Game Between the D-Backs and Padres Turns Into an Entertaining One in San Diego

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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.

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.

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