The San Diego Padres went into Tuesday’s game against the Tigers looking for two things. The team was searching for their first win in Detroit in franchise history. The second, and most importantly, is to try and build some momentum after a tough two games. San Diego started the post-All-Star break well, beating the Mets two times to begin their series, but lost game three and then lost last night in Detroit in what was an ugly game.
Before the important game for San Diego, the team was able to watch injured Fernando Tatis Jr. take live batting practice on the field with the team. This is a very promising sign for the Padres, who are in desperate need of an offensive jolt. Surely, the sight of Tatis Jr. gave the team some energy going into the game on Tuesday night.
While it wasn’t easy and took extra-innings to do it, the Padres were able to come away with a much-needed 6-4 victory in 10 innings to tie the series at a game a piece with the Tigers. The win put the Padres at 10-3 in extra-inning games this season.
Mike Clevinger had a strong outing for the Padres and gave them a chance, allowing just two runs in seven innings while striking out five on 92 pitches. Clevinger shut the Tigers out in the first six innings of the game but had a tough go of it in the seventh, allowing the Tigers to pull within a run after the Padres had taken a 3-0 lead early on.
Still, it was Clevinger’s best outing of the season in terms of his seven innings pitched, though he didn’t dominate with the strikeout as Padres fans have seen in the past.
“I think he did a really good job. He went out there and had a good plan,” said catcher Jorge Alfaro of Clevinger’s performance Tuesday night.
The Padres took a 3-0 lead in the third inning after Luke Voit hit a 427-foot double to center field that hit off the top of the wall and bounced back into play. The double for Voit was the longest hit of any Major League player that did not result in a home run.
Jorge Alfaro followed Voit’s double up with a ground-rule double of his own that scored Voit and put the Padres up by three early.
After Clevinger allowed the two runs in the seventh, Luis Garcia was able to lock down the eighth inning to put the ball in Taylor Rogers‘ hands to close out the game and give Clevinger and the Padres a win.
In what has seemed to be a little too common of late, Rogers allowed the game to become tied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, eliminating a potential victory for Clevinger.
The game would go to extra innings, where the Padres were able to separate themselves thanks to a nasty hit-by-pitch with Voit at the plate and the bases loaded, putting the Padres up 4-3. Later in the inning, Alfaro again delivered a big hit, this time a two-run single that would be the difference in the game, putting the Padres up 6-3 and sending the fans at Comerica Park to their cars.
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The Tigers would make things interesting in the bottom of the 10th, scoring a run and sending the tying run to the plate, but Nick Martinez was able to close out the game and finish what was a much more difficult game than expected early on.
“It was big. Seems like it’s hard for us to get a win right now. We’re going through a period where it seems like it’s hard to win games, but it should make us tougher down the road,” said Padres’ manager Bob Melvin of his team’s big win.
Kevin is a San Diego Native covering the San Diego Padres and their affiliates