Padres MLN: Minor league games begin

Peoria, AZ- The San Diego Padres played the Chicago Cubs in minor league action on Friday, the first such game of the spring. High-A and Low-A played at the Peoria Sports Complex. Brian Giles had four at-bats in the game, going 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.

The Low-A squad came away victorious with a 5-4 win and tacked on another four runs when they played the bottom of the ninth inning.

The High-A team, however, did not come away with the win. They were shelled for double-digit runs against when the bullpen collapsed.

The High-A Game

  • Brian Giles came to bat with a runner on base in each of his plate appearances. He singled and notched an RBI in his first at-bat, hitting a bouncer up the middle.

    He walked in his next two times to the plate and one ball by Mark Pawelek sailed over his head. In his fourth plate appearances, Giles fell victim to a good slider from Hatley and went down without a fight.

  • Robert Perry came away with four hits in the High-A game, smacking a double to open the game and scoring on Giles' single. He also clubbed three singles, added an RBI and a second run scored.

    Perry has been taking extra batting practice to maintain a simple approach at the plate and it has apparently paid off.

    "I put a lot of work in in the cage," Perry said. "I got out here early to work on my approach, just trying to make good contact and put the ball in play."

  • Zachary Brown pounded a bases loaded double to score two runs and then ended making a dumb base running mistake when he was caught napping.

    On an infield fly rule call that the shortstop missed, brown broke for the plate. His aggressive play turned out to be the final out with the bases still loaded as he was tagged out at the plate well and out by several steps.

  • Jeremy Hefner breezed through his first inning and was aided by a double play grounder right back to the box. He would allow a two-run homer in the second frame and ended his day with a strikeout on a solid changeup. Hefner tossed 34 pitches on the afternoon.

    Jeremy McBryde pitched two scoreless frames and used his full repertoire of pitches to get through both innings without any runs crossing the dish.

    Tyler Davis was lit up for two runs in his lone inning of work. The sidearming right-hander gave up a double to open the inning that bounced off the mitt of centerfielder Danny Payne. Things spiraled out of control after a passed ball on Ali Solis.

    John Madden, Colt Hynes and Jackson Quezada had a rough go of things. Madden was pounded for several extra base hits, as his pitches came in flat and it appeared he was shouldering the ball towards the plate. Hynes did not fare much better, yielding a two-run homer – just part of the damage. Quezada did not make it through his inning, as Wynn Pelzer, who was not scheduled to pitch, struck out the final batter on three pitches – flashing a dirty changeup and solid fastball that hit the low-90s.

    Things got so bad that the Padres stopped counting the score, as Chicago neared the 20-run plateau.

  • Drew Cumberland tripled to the deepest part of the left field and scored a run. Andrew Parrino drew a bases loaded walk and Ray Stokes stole a base while replacing Giles and scored on a wild pitch.

    Eric Sogard doubled, walked, had a run scored and an RBI. He was also caught in a pickle on a base running gaffe. He rounded third on a ball that should have kept him near the bag and was tagged out to end a rally.

  • The Low-A Game

  • Keith Conlon stretched a single into a double with great base running and pure hustle. On a ball that most players would be content with their base hit, Conlon never slowed, rounding first and sliding safely into second.

    The outfielder also added a single later in the game, part of a solid showing for Conlon.

  • Angel Mercado continued his hot-hitting ways, hitting the eventual game-winning home run with a two-run blast on a 1-0 fastball. He sailed the ball over the left field wall in a no doubter.

    Mercado also doubled in a run and added two walks. He crowds the plate, something that gives him good plate coverage and can turn on any fastball.

    Mercado was injured last year, cutting into the start of a productive year. So far, he has shown he belongs in full season ball. His position change to first base could be the ticket.

  • Shane Buschini continued to show the power he displayed a day before, hitting a double off the centerfield wall. The outfielder – who has also doubled as a first baseman – also drew two walks, coming back from a two-strike count to draw one.

    Brian Lauderdale doubled in a run with a zinger down the line. Clint Naylor also added a single and an RBI.

  • Cooper Brannan battled through an error and wound up allowing a single run while stranding two runners with a strikeout of the final batter he faced.

    The right-hander has better velocity this spring and is working on his off-speed pitches in games.

  • Chris Perez looked sharp in his lone inning of work. After working on his changeup with Bronswell Patrick in the bullpen, Perez came in throwing strikes and induced a double play grounder.

    "My two-seam fastball was working well today," Perez said.

    Dustin Gibbs allowed a lone base runner in his inning of work and was wild early on before settling in.

  • While the final score had been determined as a 5-4 Padres win, Chicago wanted to see its final pitcher of the day.

    With the bases loaded, Wary Polanco came to bat. Polanco, who hit into a double-play on a first-pitch swing, came out first-pitch swinging again and flailed at the ball, missing wildly.

    Polanco dropped into an 0-2 count but battled back to 0-2 before turning on an inside fastball and sending it over the left field fence for a grand slam, sending the score to 9-4 in a game that was already decided.

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