Framing the Friars: Padres’ Bats Awaken, Light Up Kyle Hendricks

Credit: AP Photo

The Padres flew back across the country Sunday night and had to prepare for the first of three home games against the reigning major league champions of baseball on Monday. The Padres were going up against the usually dominate Kyle Hendricks, who came into the game 4-2 on the season with a 3.25 ERA. Hendricks has had a pretty dominant month of May, allowing just six runs in four games and 24 2/3 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts.

The game started out pretty much how you would’ve expected, five strikeouts for the Friars in three straight 1-2-3 innings. But the fourth inning, that’s when the slumber ended and the party started.

With one out, Yangervis Solarte ripped a single towards second base, followed by a line-drive single by Wil Myers, and Kyle Hendricks pegging slugger Ryan Schimpf to load up the bases.

That’s when Hunter Renfroe stepped to the plate and launched a one-out grand slam to take the Padres out of a 2-0 deficit and give them a two-run lead.

The ball jumped off of the bat at just 95 MPH, the second lowest exit velocity on a home run for the Padres this year. This hit alone had a 42.8% win expectancy which leveraged out to a .355 win probability added to the course of the game. This was his first grand slam this season, but his second as a rookie. He had a two-home run game against the Dodgers in September of last year, one of which was a towering grand slam to put the Padres up 7-1.

The very next inning, rookie pitcher Jose Torres stepped to the plate with one out. He ripped a single down the left field line to record his first of few major league hits. A big accomplishment for the kid and the fourth Padre in the last six batters to reach base.

Rule 5 pick, Allen Cordoba, took to the batter’s box after Torres and ripped a ground ball towards left field as well. This one moved Torres to second, and set up an opportunity for the Friars to load the bases again with Yangervis Solarte coming to the plate.

Yangervis had been in a little bit of a slump this month, he hadn’t had a multi-hit game in the first 18 games played. However, more recently, he has been hot, batting 9-23 (.391 average) with three RBI and five walks in his last seven games.

Solarte ripped a third straight single to make him the seventh Padre in the last ten batters to reach base on Hendricks. Wil Myers ended the single streak for the Padres by grounding out to second and reaching on a fielder’s choice, but not before Torres could record his first career run. This gave our Friars their fifth unanswered run and a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the 5th.

Kyle Hendricks was replaced the following inning, allowing the Padres’ slaughter of Hendricks to be put to a stop. No more runs would be scored after Hendricks was ripped from the game and the Padre bullpen didn’t allow much either after starter Jarred Cosart came out after four innings pitched.

This win prevents our Friars from being swept by the former champion Cubbies and puts then in the driver’s seat for the series. This win also moves the Padres to 20-33 on the season with a .377 win percentage, which is officially not the worst in baseball anymore (Philadelphia 17-32, .347).

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