Monday, May 25, 2009

Padres-DBacks: Padres Use Huge Comeback to Win Tenth Straight

This can't be the same San Diego Padres team that lost 18 of 22 games through the first few weeks of May, it just can't be.

Well, you can keep teling yourself that but the San Diego Padres came from six runs behind to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-7, capped by a big two run home run from left fielder Chase Headley in the top half of the tenth inning off Arizona reliever Tony Pena.

Through six innings, it looked like the win streak was going to come through an end with the Padres down 7-1, their lone run coming in the fourth inning on Adrian Gonzalez' 17th home run of the season.

Padres' starter Chad Gaudin had one of his worst starts of the season, giving up seven runs on five hits and striking out six but he walked five batters as well as hitting a batter. The Padres needed a much better start out of him if the win streak was going to continue. Luckily for Gaudin and San Diego, the Padres' offense came alive.

In the top half of the eighth, the Padres loaded the bases with just one out and would then get back-to-back RBI singles from Kevin Kouzmanoff and Henry Blanco, pulling the Padres to within four runs, 7-3, but they weren't done. After Chase Headley popped out for the second out of the inning, right fielder Drew Macias came up with a big two out bases clearing double to pull the Padres to within one, 7-6.

In the top half of the ninth, Brian Giles would get a lead off pinch hit double and would later score on an RBI single from Scott Hairston and just like that, the Padres had come from six runs back to tie the game at 7-7.

In the tenth, with Tony Pena on the hill for Arizona, catcher Henry Blanco would lead off the inning with a single to center which brought up Chase Headley. Headley would crush a 1-1 pitch to right center for the game winning two run shot, capping an unthinkable come from behind victory.

Headley wouldn't be the only hero on this night, the Padres' bullpen deserves a ton of credit. After being dominant at home during the team's 9-0 homestand, they continued their dominance against Arizona, pitching four and a two third scoreless innings, giving up just two hits. Heath Bell came in to close out the win for the Padres and get his 13th save in as many chances with a perfect 10th inning, lowering his ERA to 0.47.

Can the Padres keep this streak alive, could this team really catch the Dodgers from behind after people had written them off just a few short weeks ago? They will give it a shot as they'll play the second game of a three game set against Arizona on Tuesday night. The Padres will have Kevin Correia (1-2, 4.53) on the hill while Arizona will counter with right hander Max Scherzer (1-3, 3.50)

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