SAN DIEGO -- With two teams out of playoff contention squaring off in the middle of August, Monday's Interleague contest between the Angels and the Padres at Petco Park didn't exactly set the tone for must-see baseball.
Instead, the Padres delivered one of their more enticing performances of the season, only for it to unravel in extra innings, as they fell, 6-3, in 10 innings.
The Padres' bullpen, which entered Monday's game as the National League leader in ERA since the All-Star break, suffered a rare loss, with the biggest blow coming on a two-run blast from Justin Upton in the 10th inning off Craig Stammen. However the most crucial play occurred two batters before with runners on first and second, when Kole Calhoun drove a deep fly ball to right-center. Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe appeared to have some miscommunication, resulting in the ball dropping between the two and hopping over the fence for a tiebreaking, ground-rule double.
"It's probably Hunter's ball," manager Andy Green said. "Based on communication there it's right in the gap, Manny's in the left-center gap on Calhoun and had a way to run, Hunter kind of pulled up. I don't know if he thought he heard Manny say something.
"My anticipation is crowd noise, he heard something, thought he heard Manny call for it and pulled back. It was probably his ball there," Green said.
It was an unorthodox play from two of the team's best fielders, and Stammen wasn't able to limit the damage. Pinch-hitter Shohei Ohtani scored on the next play on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze from David Fletcher to make it 4-2, before Upton followed with his 25th round-tripper of the year.
Upton also potentially saved the game a few innings before.
Eric Hosmer -- pinch-hitting in the eighth inning and swinging on a 3-0 count -- came inches away from being the hero of the game. Upton tracked Hosmer's deep fly ball to left and soared for a perfectly timed catch to rob Hosmer of a potential go-ahead, three-run home run. Freddy Galvis tagged up and scored on the play to tie the score.
Two innings later in his next at-bat, Hosmer hit his first home run at Petco Park since July 14, but it was too little, too late.
"Two really good swings, had to feel good for him," Green said. "We'd love the first one to be more than a sac fly."
William Myers, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list before the Monday's contest, played at third base for the first time in his big league career. He didn't disappoint, flashing both his glove and arm en route to eight assists (one shy of a Padres third-base record) at the hot corner. He was involved in all three outs in the first inning, snaring a leadoff liner from Calhoun before picking up back-to-back assists to end the frame.
Perhaps he can thank Clayton Richard, a left-handed sinkerballer with a reputation of inducing ground balls, for the many opportunities.
Richard maneuvered through the Angels' lineup efficiently, retiring 15 of the 29 batters he faced on ground balls. He tossed eight innings of two-run ball, his longest start since May 13 and his first outing of more than six innings since the All-Star break. He scattered four hits and threw just 86 pitches. But with the Padres trailing by one in the bottom of the eighth, and Richard's spot in the lineup due second, Green opted to pinch-hit for him.
"It's good to have a starter get to eight innings," Green said. "Different situation, he throws a complete game tonight."
"Individually, a step in the right direction," Richard said. "Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough. It stinks having a game like that."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After Jose Briceno doubled to begin the 10th, Young attempted to bunt him over to third, but the ball was hit softly in front of the plate, allowing catcher Austin Hedges to quickly field it and fire to third. Briceno was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned after replay review showed that he was tagged out by Galvis before reaching the bag.
Brett Kennedy (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will be on the mound Tuesday, hoping his second career big league start is better than his first. The 24-year-old right-hander was tagged for six earned runs over four innings against Milwaukee in his MLB debut last week. Some of those runs could be attributed to first-inning jitters though, as the Brewers scored five times in the first via back-to-back-to-back home runs. He'll take on 22-year-old Jaime Barria (7-7, 3.59) in a battle of rookie arms. Barria is 1-2 in Interleague starts this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PT.