SAN DIEGO -- The Padres were one strike away from victory, but an uncustomary bullpen slip-up resulted in a 4-2 come-from-behind victory for the Oakland Athletics at Petco Park Tuesday night.
With two outs in the top of the ninth and Oakland down 2-1, Stephen Piscotty crushed a 2-2, 94 mph fastball from Brad Hand into the second deck in left field. It was a rare blown save from the Padres closer, just his third in 24 opportunities.
One inning later, Jed Lowrie joined the party. After Marcus Semien stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Raffy Lopez, Lowrie sent a 2-1 fastball from Adam Cimber over the right-field wall for a go-ahead two-run home run. It was the first home run Cimber had allowed all season.
"Brad's been good all year," manager Andy Green said. "I'm not the least bit worried about him. He's as resilient as anybody."
The late-inning theatrics spoiled a quality outing from Eric Lauer (3-4, 5.47 ERA), who tossed six innings of three-hit ball for the Padres, matching his season high. He struck out seven in his longest outing since May 22 and allowed one unearned run, lowering his ERA to 5.47 from 6.20.
Lauer showcased some extra velocity on his fastball, averaging 92 mph and topping out at 95 mph on the night. He also notched back-to-back quality outings for the first time this season.
"It's nice to get something back-to-back," Lauer said. "Consistency's been a big issue for me.
"Most of it has been being more comfortable on the mound, knowing I can throw my own game and being comfortable doing that. I'm not trying to do too much, like I said before, just really staying within myself and not trying to press."
San Diego's offense sputtered after striking early off Oakland starter Paul Blackburn. The Padres tacked on a run in both the first and second inning. After Cory Spangenberg walked in the first, Eric Hosmer singled to set runners up at the corners for Jose Pirela. He cashed in Spangenberg with an RBI groundout to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.
Franmil Reyes led off the second inning with a double, and would score two batters later when Lopez roped a double of his own. That would be all for the Padres, however, as they mustered just three hits the remainder of the game.
"We should've gotten more going offensively against Blackburn," Green said. "When you look at the game objectively, we could've had much better at-bats throughout the course of that game to not make that an issue at the end of the ballgame.
"At the end of the game, everybody's going to see the obvious that Brad missed a spot with his fastball and it got hit out of the ballpark. For me, it's that we should do more against that type of pitcher in a game like that today."
Lauer's outing on Tuesday snapped his streak of five consecutive games with a pickoff, the longest streak in Padres history and tied for the second-longest all-time. Lauer has seven pickoffs on the season, and the Padres lead the Majors with 13.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
While Lauer may have had it all figured out on the mound, the batter's box was a different story. After taking ball three from Blackburn in the second inning, Lauer tossed his bat down and casually jogged to first base, under the impression that he had walked. It resulted in a walk of shame back to home plate, amid laugher from his teammates in the dugout. No worries, however -- Blackburn would actually walk Lauer one pitch later.
HE SAID IT
"We played a good game all around. We were one out away from winning the ballgame. I made a mistake, they hit a home run, and then the 10th inning didn't go our way. It's a tough loss, but we'll come back and get 'em tomorrow." -- Hand, on his blown save and the Padres' loss
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
A rare defensive miscue by shortstop Freddy Galvis led to the Athletics' first run of the night. While attempting to turn Olson's ground ball into a double play in the second inning, Galvis came off second base trying to catch the throw from Pirela. Khris Davis was called safe after a replay review, and Canha followed up with a single to load the bases. Lauer was able to induce a double-play ball from Piscotty next at-bat, but Davis scored, tacking an unearned run onto Lauer's line.
It's Joey Lucchesi on the mound Wednesday for the Friars, making his first start since May 14 after being sidelined for nearly a month due to a hip strain. Although San Diego fared fairly well in his absence, the Padres will certainly be glad to get the left-hander back as they had won four of his last seven starts. Lucchesi, a Bay Area native, will take on Oakland's Frankie Montas, who was called up by the club on May 27. First pitch is slated for 12:40 p.m. PT.