After only a year in Tucson, the Padres will be playing their final season at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium before shipping to for El Paso, Texas. The boys in blue opened up the 2013 season on the road and were hampered by heavy wind and snow in the Rocky Mountain cities of Salt Lake City, Utah and Colorado Springs, Colo.
Brad Boxberger took the season-opening loss as the Padres fell to the Salt Lake City Bees 9-5 despite three home runs from Gregorio Petit, Rene Rivera and Jaff Decker. Game two was a pitching battle that saw Fautino De Los Santos take the hard-luck 2-1 loss. The Padres unleashed a barrage of hits the following day but left eight on base and Nick Vincent took the 5-3 loss.
The Padres rebounded in a big way in the series finale in a 9-1 victory that saw former Arizona State standout Travis Buck go 3-of-5 with a home run and four RBI. Pitcher Thad Weber notched the first victory of the year for the Pads. The hot hitting continued on April 8, when the Padres belted 14 runs in five innings before the game was called due to high winds. Jaff Decker hit his second home run of the season and Travis Buck belted three doubles and three RBI, Jorge Reyes took the win to put the Padres at 2-3.
The following two games were called off due to nasty weather and the time off cooled off the Padres’ bats as well. In a seven-inning double-header played Thursday, the Padres lost both games by a single run. Nick Vincent dropped to 0-2 and Miles Mikolas lost his first appearance of the season.
The Padres couldn’t be happier to return to the warm climes of Kino Stadium on Friday night as they host the Fresno Grizzlies and Salt Lake Bees over the next eight days. The Grizzlies are the AAA-affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and the Bees are affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Grizzlies enter this weekend with a record of 4-4 after evenly splitting series with the Tacoma Rainiers and Las Vegas 51’s. The Bees are 6-4 after winning series against Tucson and the Reno Aces at home.
Probable pitchers for Friday’s 7:05 matchup are Michael Kickham (0-0) for Fresno and Keyvius Sampson (0-0) for Tucson.
The Padres currently rank No. 9 with a batting average of .271 in the 16-team Pacific Coast League and register at No. 5 in slugging percentage with .421. Their corps of pitchers rank in the top four teams in hits allowed, runs allowed, earned runs and leads the league surrendering only two home runs.
Travis Buck leads the Padres in hits (10), doubles (5), RBI (7) and total bases (18) while Rene Rivera leads in batting average (.500), on-base percentage (.571) and slugging percentage (.833).
The schedule for the eight-game home stand (with game promotion) is as follows:
- Friday, April 12 7:05 pm (magnet giveaway)
- Saturday, April 13 7:05 pm (post-game fireworks)
- Sunday, April 14 1:05 pm (Military Appreciation-free for active duty and veterans, Bark in the Park)
- Monday, April 15 7:05 pm
Salt Lake City Bees
- Tuesday, April 16 7:05 pm (pick up free GA tickets at Eegee’s)
- Wednesday, April 17 7:05 pm (Wiener Wednesday-$1 hot dogs)
- Thursday, April 18 7:05 pm (Thirsty Thursday)
- Friday, April 19 7:05 pm
If you haven’t been to a Tucson Padres or minor-league baseball game at Kino, it is a great, inexpensive way to enjoy America’s Pastime. With this being the final season of the Padres in town, Tucson needs to represent well to possibly attract other teams looking to relocate.
Or we can just be happy with the two spring training games we get each year.