Padres are exciting, even in a losing effort
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
One thing the Padres aren't this season is boring. And that hasn't been the case in recent seasons. Even in Saturday night's 11-8 loss to the Dodgers at Petco Park, the Padres made it interesting -- and more than once.
Down, 3-0, in the top of the first, the Padres tied the game in the bottom of the inning on homers by outfielders Wil Myers (his first leading off a game in his career) and Justin Upton (who would later add a second).The Padres hit three homers in the game, as the teams combined for seven long balls -- one short of the Petco Park record for a game.
The two home runs in the first inning gave the Padres five first-inning homers on the season and 20 first-inning runs. In all of the 2014 season, the Padres scored a Major League-low 62 runs in the first inning.
Of course, the Dodgers won the first two games of the series, ending the Padres' streak of 12 straight winning series at Petco Park. The Padres had won 11 series and split one in a streak that started early last July.
From the scorebook
• Chula Vista, Calif., native Adrian Gonzalez has been ruthless against his hometown (and former) team. He is 13-for-22 against the Padres this season with three doubles, five home runs, 10 runs scored and 10 RBIs. That is a .591 batting average and a 1.409 slugging percentage. Beyond this season, Gonzalez has hit safely in 11 straight games against the Padres, batting .449 (22-for-49) since last Aug. 29 with eight homers and 13 RBIs. In 52 career games against the Padres, Gonzalez is hitting .341 (70-for-205) with 12 doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs.
• Right-handed Padres starter Ian Kennedy had a rough return from the 15-day disabled list Saturday night. He allowed eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs, in just 4 1/3 innings. The runs were the third-most allowed by Kennedy in a game in his career and the most since he allowed a career-worst 10 runs on June 6, 2013. The three home runs tied his career-worst. Kennedy is 0-6 with a 5.74 earned run average in 10 starts against the Dodgers since Sept. 11, 2012.
• Myers' homer Saturday night was the first by a Padres leadoff hitter since outfielder Seth Smith connected last July 1 against Cincinnati. Myers has three homers and 12 RBIs out of the leadoff slot this season with 16 runs scored. In all of the 2014 season, Padres leadoff hitters had seven homers and 41 RBIs. Myers is 2-for-17 in his past four games, with both hits going for homers.
• Right fielder Matt Kemp is hitting .429 (9-for-21) with two doubles, three RBIs in five games against the Dodgers (his former team) this season. Kemp has hit safely in eight of his past nine games and 12 of his past 14, hitting .393 (22-for-56) with four doubles, a triple and a home run for 11 RBIs and 13 runs scored. Kemp had his ninth multihit game of the season Saturday night.
• Upton's two-homer game Saturday night was his first as a Padre and the eighth of his career. After hitting safely in the season's first 10 games and 13 of the first 14, Upton was in a 2-for-14 slump before he unloaded two shots against the Dodgers' Brandon McCarthy on Saturday night for five RBIs. Upton has a 12-game hitting streak against the Dodgers (15-for-43) during which he has three doubles, a triple, four homers and 16 RBIs. He has reached base in 17 straight games against the Dodgers -- the longest active streak.