Jason Castro haunts former team as Padres defeat Angels 11-4

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Credit: Fox Sports

The San Diego Padres pounded the Los Angeles Angels late to take the first game of the series. 

The last time Jason Castro wore an Angels jersey, it was on Aug. 28. That game saw him catch all nine innings, including the final four outs by Ty Buttery.

Five days later, Castro was back in Anaheim, this time wearing a Padres jersey. He had gone hitless in three at-bats but was now staring down Buttery with Eric Hosmer and Jake Cronenworth on first and third with two outs. Through 7 2/3 innings, the score was knotted up at three runs for each team.

It took one pitch to remind the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who he was, cracking a double to right-center field to clear the bases and give the San Diego Padres a lead they wouldn’t let go. The Padres went on to score six more runs en route to an 11-4 victory over the Angels.

The game didn’t start so well for the Padres as Julio Tehran, who has allowed at least two runs in each of his starts in 2020, looked like the pitcher who had found so much success in nine years with Atlanta, blanking the San Diego offense for three innings straight.

There was also that Mike Trout guy. You know, the three-time MVP who has been compared to Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. He got to know a 96 MPH fastball from Dinelson Lamet in the third inning before driving it 424 feet to center field at 106.9 MPH for a two-run home run.

Even after a two-run home run by Jurickson Profar tied the game, the Angels refused to back down. A single by Justin Upton and a double by soon-to-be Hall of Famer Albert Pujols gave the lead right back to Anaheim.

Despite the base traffic, Lamet buckled down to pitch 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball, mixing in his darting slider with an upper-90’s fastball to strike out six Angels. 67% of Lamet’s pitches were thrown for strikes.

San Diego certainly had their chances to blow the game wide open. A single and back-to-back walks brought up Manny Machado with two outs, but a first pitch lineout to third ended any hope of a big inning.

Later on, the Padres loaded the bases up again, this time in the seventh against Jose Quijada. The only runner that crossed the plate was Hosmer, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Profar.

It was in the eighth inning against three of Joe Maddon’s relievers that the game finally broke open. This time, every Padre acquired by AJ Preller at the Trade Deadline did their part in the Looney Toons-esque conga line that became the San Diego lineup.

Mitch Moreland singled to move Hosmer to second base, the latter of whom advanced to third on the ensuing fielder’s choice by Cronenworth. A Profar strikeout gave way to Castro’s bases-clearing double.

Hansel Robles was called on to douse the fires, but instead of bringing a fire hose, Robles brought with him a gallon of gasoline.

Greg Allen, who had already gotten on base twice via a walk and hit by a pitch, walked on four pitches. Then Trent Grisham walked. Then Fernando Tatis Jr. walked to score Castro. Maddon had seen enough and cured Robles’ case of the yips by pulling him from the ballgame.

Noe Ramirez didn’t fare much better. A single by Machado scored two while Hosmer followed him by hammering a changeup that screamed, “Please hit me” 443 feet to dead center field.

Just like that, the Angels were defeated. Javy Guerra allowed one run in the ninth as the Padres sent the despondent Angels packing.

The two teams will duke it out one more time tomorrow at 4:10 as Mike Clevinger makes his Padres debut against Andrew Heaney.

1 thought on “Jason Castro haunts former team as Padres defeat Angels 11-4

  1. While I won’t be sending Preller a Christmas card, I’ll give him credit for stocking the farm system well enough to pull off the trades to make this team formidable. I will give him credit for putting our current team in a position to do damage in the playoffs.

    I’m not letting it go unaddressed that he’s added good players with playoff experience as well.

    I believe we still have enough on the farm to produce good players that we will need every year going forward. With the price of contracts rising so drastically, we have to be able to develop pitchers and field players of high caliber. So, kudos to the scouting personnel and AJ for compiling the farm system and major league team.

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