ICYMI: Norris, Upton catalyze incredible comeback win
Thursday's series finale between the Mets and Friars featured a pair of rain delays in the ninth inning that ran almost an hour longer than the actual game itself, tolling in at a whopping three hours and 36 minutes. That three-and-a-half-hour delay would serve as a mere footnote, however, as the Padres staged an incredible seven-run comeback to go from a 7-1 deficit to an 8-7 victory over the Mets at Citi Field.
Early on, the game appeared to belong to New York as the squad strung together a few good innings against Padres starter Andrew Cashner and led the game by 4-0 in the fifth inning. The Mets would eventually build up a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning, while San Diego struggled to mount any offense at all halfway through the game. Cashner lasted 5.1 innings after surrendering seven runs -- only five of which were earned -- on six hits and three strikeouts, while the Padres bullpen settled in to do what they do best in keeping the game manageable.
This task proved easy for the pitching staff as San Diego's offense, which had been quiet for most of the game, stepped up in a big way. Derek Norris, making a rare start at first base, ended up having the biggest impact on the day, as he went 5-for-5 at the plate with four singles and four RBIs thanks to a seventh inning grand slam that pulled the Padres within a couple of runs. Norris's work would not end at the grand slam, however.
Following the game's first rain delay after a couple of outs in the ninth inning, Norris sparked the Friar's dramatic game-deciding rally with a two-out single in a six-pitch at bat to set the table for the Padres. Norris' single allowed Matt Kemp to follow up with another base knock, and then finally, in a striking and poignant moment of the game, Justin Upton launched a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw to deliver the Friars an 8-7 lead. Upton's homer came at an opportune moment as pouring rain would force yet another rain delay.
Play eventually resumed, and closer Craig Kimbrel headed to the mound to collect his 30th save of the season out of 31 opportunities.
Thanks to Thursday's rain-delayed victory over the Mets, San Diego has now posted a respectable 8-4 record (.667) since returning from the All-Star break, and an even more impressive 10-4 record (.714) in the last 14 games.
The Padres hope to continue their roll down south as they take a "happy flight" to Miami to start the first of a three-game set against the Marlins. Friday's matchup will have San Diego's Ian Kennedy taking the mound opposite of Miami's David Phelps. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories you may not have seen from Thursday:
Padres post-game recap: Upton's 9th-inning blast caps rain-soaked rally
Kemp drove in the first Padres run of the game with an RBI single in the sixth:
NorrisaurusRex goes 5-for-5 at the plate, including a colossal grand slam:
Upton crushes a three-run homer in the 9th to deliver the Padres an 8-7 lead:
Kimbrel collected his 30th save of the year after completing a perfect 1-2-3 frame:
Top stories of the day
Padres righty hits another snag in the road to recovery: Morrow to miss rehab start due to soreness
All-Star Upton focuses on team as priority one: Justin Upton blocks out trade noise with loud bat
Padres fuel speculation with routine resting measures: Friars pull a fast one with early departures
Wednesday's starter looks brilliant after win: Ross still sharp as record homerless streak ends
Down on the Farm: CF Jankowski 2-for-4 in return to Triple-A El Paso lineup
Friar Forecast: Building momentum, Padres hit Miami
Friday's pitching matchup: Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.58 ERA) vs. David Phelps (4-7, 3.86 ERA)