Padres fall on walk-off after late-inning heroics
San Diego offense forces two blown saves by Arizona's bullpen
PHOENIX -- There were enough double-switches, shuffling infielders, big hits and near-misses to cause your head to spin Tuesday night at Chase Field, where the Padres and the D-backs engaged in a frenetic game of what-will-happen-next.
"That's hard to describe that one," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Frustrating might be a pretty good place to start, especially after the Padres blew a lead early and then wasted two big innings late as the D-backs won, 10-9, in 10 innings when Aaron Hill singled some four hours, 24 minutes after first pitch.
"Crazy game," Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy said.
Kennedy figured to be the easy storyline, facing his former D-backs teammates for the first time since he was traded to the Padres on July 31. But he struggled, failing to complete five innings. In the end, he was merely a footnote to a wild finish.
The Padres (59-73) exhausted their entire bench, used seven pitchers and actually had five players play third base in the first nine innings -- four after Chase Headley left the game with stiffness in his lower back. In fact, Jesus Guzman and Jedd Gyorko flipped between second base and third base several times depending on the batter and situation.
"That's got to rank right up there," Gyorko said when asked if this was the wildest game he had been part of. "I'm sure it was fun for people to watch."
Gyorko had a hand in the Padres getting back into this game after they trailed, 7-3, after seven innings. It was his RBI single in the eighth inning that tied the score, after a two-run double by Ronny Cedeno and a run-scoring single by Mark Kotsay.
The D-backs scored twice in the bottom of the eighth, when reliever Nick Vincent allowed a two-run double to Martin Prado for a 9-7 lead.
Undaunted, the Padres scored two more runs in the ninth to force extra innings. Nick Hundley had an RBI single, and Cedeno tied the game with a push bunt to the right side, reaching without a play at first base or the plate.
"Just quality at-bat after quality at-bat," Hundley said of the Padres' offense, which scored four runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. "It was a heck of a battle, a heck of a game. I'm proud of the way that we came back."
Gyorko nearly put the Padres on top in the ninth, but Prado speared his line drive down the third-base line to end the inning.
"I thought that it was going to get down," said Gyorko, who had two hits. "It was a good pitch, a great swing."
That momentum was short-lived, though. In the 10th inning, Adam Eaton singled off Dale Thayer (2-4). Paul Goldschmidt then singled as well. After Prado flied out to center field, Eaton moved to third base. That was when the Padres brought in Kotsay from the outfield to give them an infield with five players.
In the end, none of those five touched the ball, as Hill jumped on a fastball from Thayer, lining it well over the head of Will Venable, who was playing in left-center field, for the winner.
"The whole at-bat I was looking for something up; I chased up on the first fastball, but I didn't change my approach," Hill said. "With five infielders, you just have to look for something you can get under."
Before the late-inning fireworks, the story of the game was Kennedy, whose record remained 5-9 after he allowed six runs on six hits with five walks and a hit batter in 4 1/3 innings.
"It was difficult; I knew it would be a little different," Kennedy said. "I just put myself in holes, putting guys on; I walked a lot of guys. It's tough to do that. But it [facing his former teammates] a lot tougher than I thought it would be."
Gerardo Parra nearly singlehandedly ruined Kennedy's homecoming, as he knocked in a career-high five runs -- three on a home run in the second inning and two more on a single in the fifth that ended Kennedy's start.
"He was just missing," Hundley said of Kennedy.
The Padres staked Kennedy to a 3-0 lead before he threw his first pitch of the game, as they got to D-backs rookie pitcher David Holmberg -- recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Reno -- in a big way.
Holmberg allowed his first five baserunners to reach, as Chris Denorfia doubled and Venable singled on a bunt intended to move Denorfia over. Gyorko and Headley followed with run-scoring singles. A third run scored when Hundley had a sacrifice fly to center field.
Things only got wilder and stranger from then on. San Diego pitchers walked 10 batters in the game, and their offense -- for scoring nine runs -- left 12 on base.