June 20, 2013 will always belong to LeBron James and the Miami Heat for winning the NBA championship, but the Padres also deserve ESPN recognition for numerous impressive catches. Pedro Ciriaco took care of the offense, and guided San Diego to a 6-3 win by going 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple and drove in three RBI.
The web gems started in the seventh frame, as second baseman Logan Forsythe made a ridiculous over the shoulder basket catch. On the next play, left fielder Chris Denorfia dove head first into the stands to retire Elian Herrera. Fast forward to the bottom of the eighth, and center fielder Alexi Amarista covered a lot of ground and fully extended to rob Juan Uribe of an RBI.
In comparison, the Dodgers accumulated two costly errors. The sure-handed Mark Ellis two-base error in the fifth inning allowed the Padres to fight another day. Neither of the Padres runs in the fifth would've scored if Ellis made the play.
Bud Black's team has participated in 14 consecutive contests decided by three or less runs. Ciriaco's eighth inning two-run long ball provided the Padres with insurance, and extended the lead to 6-2.
Pitching wise, Jason Marquis and Stephen Fife went stride-for-stride, posting relatively similar stat lines. However, the Padres bullpen outclassed the Dodgers relievers. Marquis couldn't find a consistent rhythm, yet hung tough and still earned a quality start.
The Dodgers looked good early, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning via Yasiel Puig's solo home run. Although, Puig struggled the rest of the night, finishing 1-for-5 with three strikeouts, and appeared lost against off-speed pitches.
The boys in blue comeback attempt came up short. A.J. Ellis homered to begin the 9th frame and was followed up by back-to-back singles. Although, per usual, the opportunity ended prematurely.
The Padres have now won seven consecutive home games.
- Hanley Ramirez continues to heat up, as he went 2-for-4 and is 8-for-12 over the past three games.
- Scott Van Slyke will begin a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Albuquerque, per David Vassegh of KLAC 570.
- Don Mattingly believes Matt Kemp may be ready for a three to four game rehab assignment in the upcoming days, which might put the center fielder in line for a return next weekend against Philadelphia, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Dodgers 2012 first-round pick Corey Seager returned to the Great Lake Loons (low class A) lineup and went 2-for-4.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw faces off with Clayton Richard for game two of the series. During the 2013 season, Kershaw sports an 0-2 record against the Padres.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (6), Pedro Ciriaco (1), A.J. Ellis (3)
WP - Nick Vincent (2-0): 1 IP, 1 walk
LP - Matt Guerrier (2-3): ZERO IP, 2 hits, 2 runs