ICYMI: Upton Jr. shines as Padres drop opener
Melvin Upton Jr. appeared to be in prime form on Friday as he went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a home run and a well-placed sacrifice bunt. Upton Jr. factored into a late rally covering the last few innings put together by the Padres as his brother, Justin Upton, also brought in a run with an RBI sacrifice fly to score Yonder Alonso in the eighth. Unfortunately, that late rally would not be enough as the Friars fell to the Rangers by a score of 4-3 in Friday's series opener.
Starter Ian Kennedy lasted 4 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs, three of which were earned, on four hits and two strikeouts. A bullpen corps of Dale Thayer, Odrisamer Despaigne and Shawn Kelley followed after Kennedy and threw a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings while surrendering only two hits.
The offense continued to make strides, outhitting Texas despite scoring fewer runs. The Rangers were able to score in the first inning on a rare sacrifice fly to third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who hesitated on a throw to home allowing a runner to tag and score. Outside of that simple mistake, the offense put a sincere effort together, with Matt Kemp going 2-for-5 with a run scored. Kemp and Upton Jr. each enjoyed multihit games, while Kemp also tallied a stolen base late in the game that allowed him to score.
Saturday night the Padres will try to even the series behind starter James Shields, as he faces off against Colby Lewis to try and bring the Friars' season-high six-game losing streak to an end. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories that may have passed you by on Friday:
Padres' postgame recap: Late rally not enough to halt Padres' slide
San Diego ready for big reveal of 2016 ASG: Padres preparing to host the 2016 All-Star Game
Rested and refreshed, Upton returns anew: Justin Upton returns from sore left oblique
Two Padres greats join Padres history: Santiago, Templeton elected to Padres' Hall
Down on the Farm: LF Torres hits two doubles to claim Midwest League lead
Murph's Musings: Murphy on Justin Upton's return, Spangenberg's slow improvement
Friar Forecast: Shields faces Rangers, aims to end winless streak