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04/09/08 3:01 AM ET
Padres lament lost chances vs. Giants
San Diego rallies in ninth to tie it, but falls in 11 innings
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- This is April at AT&T Park; the chilled wind swirling, the cold air cutting and, for the Padres Tuesday, enough missed opportunities to leave them stinging. "It was cold and windy and uncomfortable to be out there," Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. Cold, windy and largely unproductive, at least offensively, for the Padres who fell, 3-2, in 11 innings to the Giants before a crowd of 35,795 that reveled in Bengie Molina's game-winning home run. The Padres (5-4) might have had that winning feeling themselves if not for stranding 13 runners on base and a baserunning mistake, as well as going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, which overshadowed about anything they did right. "We just couldn't put it together on the offensive side," said Gonzalez, who had two hits to raise his average to .342. Actually, the Padres came up with a run Tuesday when they absolutely needed to, as they trailed 2-1 going to the ninth inning. That's when Josh Bard walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Colt Morton, who was recalled earlier in the day from Double-A San Antonio to replace Michael Barrett, who will miss up to two months with a sprained right elbow. Tony Clark's pinch-hit double down the left-field line sent Morton to third base, where he stayed until Brian Giles knocked him in with a sacrifice fly. The Padres survived a wild top of the 10th inning, as reliever Cla Meredith allowed a hit to Eugenio Velez to start the inning. The speedy Velez then promptly stole second base, putting the winning run in scoring position with no outs. But that threat ended just about as quickly as it started when Randy Winn bounced a ball to Gonzalez, who stepped on first base and fired a throw to third to get Velez, who tried to advance on the play. "That's an unbelievable play," said Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was on the receiving end of the throw. "That play happened so fast. But if the ball is hit hard enough, I know he has a strong enough arm to make that throw." Kouzmanoff was involved in a strange play in the sixth inning that likely cost the Padres a run. Gonzalez and Kouzmanoff opened the inning with singles off Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, who allowed one run in six innings with seven strikeouts, brandishing a nasty changeup to go along with his mid-90s fastball. Lincecum then hit Jim Edmonds with a pitch to load the bases. Khalil Greene then lifted a fly ball to left field that sent Daniel Ortmeier backpedaling toward the wall. The hit went in and out of Ortmeier's glove as a run scored to cut the Giants' lead to 2-1. But Kouzmanoff, who was on second base, thought Ortmeier made the catch. The Giants (2-6) got the ball back into the infield and got a forceout on Kouzmanoff at third base for the first out. Lincecum then got the next two hitters out to end the inning. "I saw it go into his glove and I immediately went back to tag up," Kouzmanoff said. "I saw Edmonds at second base. I don't know what happened." Neither did Padres manager Bud Black, who said there was a division of opinion inside the dugout on whether Ortmeier made the catch. "I thought that he caught it," Black said. "The guys on the bench were wondering what happened, too." San Diego starting pitcher Randy Wolf allowed runs in the second and third innings but settled down thereafter, allowing two hits over his final three innings. Wolf allowed five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. "His stuff was good ... six innings, only five hits, the one walk [to Brian Bocock in the third inning, which led to a run] I'm sure he'd like to have back," Black said. "He was efficient, his pitch count was down and I thought his assortment of pitches were solid." One inning before Giles tied the game, the Padres threatened when Edmonds got on base with a single and stole second base. The threat ended there as Giants reliever Tyler Walker struck out Greene and Scott Hairston to end the inning. Hairston attempted to check his swing, but home-plate umpire Tim Timmons said he went around. Hairston argued a little too long for Timmons' liking and was ejected. The Padres put rookie Callix Crabbe in left and he got his first Major League hit in the 10th inning.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.