The Tucson Padres (9-10) had their first scheduled day off on Wednesday and returned to Tucson for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
The Padres took three of four from the San Francisco Giants’ AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies (10-10) and have won six of their past seven games. The rest was short as the Padres return to Kino Veterans’ Memorial Stadium on Thursday night to host the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (10-7) for a four-game set this weekend.
Before dropping the series finale at Fresno, the Padres were on a 6-game win streak winning the final three home games of the opening home stand over the Pacific Northern leading Salt Lake Bees (12-8). The Bees are the L.A. Angels’ top farm club that started hot out of the gates winning eight of their first 10 games.
The Sky Sox took two of three from the Padres earlier in the month when the two played three shortened games and had two unscheduled days off due to snow, strong wind and below-freezing temperatures. The first game of the series was dominated by the Padres as they put up a season-high 14 runs in only five innings.
Shortstop Dean Anna led the offensive onslaught with three hits and four RBI while left-fielder Travis Buck tallied three doubles and three RBI. Right-fielder Jaff Decker hit his second home run of the season and notched two RBI on two hits.
Starting pitcher Keyvius Sampson was roughed up in the first 2.1 innings giving up four hits, two earned runs, three walks and a home run. Jorge Reyes came in and pitched a near-flawless 2.2 innings allowing only two hits and one earned run to earn his first win of the season. Reyes has pitched 11 innings in relief and has one 3-inning start this season. He has a respectable K:BB ratio of 11-to-4 and his 2.57 ERA is second lowest on the team.
Thursday night’s game will host a marquee matchup of solid pitchers that have combined for four wins and zero losses. The Padres’ Robbie Erlin has won his past two games against Fresno and Salt Lake City recording seven strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA. Sky Sox pitcher Drew Pomeranz has been lights-out in his three starts with a 21-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio and tallied a 0.00 ERA in two of the three games.
(Edit: The San Diego Padres called up Robbie Erlin, tonight’s pitcher is TBD)
The game will also feature the ever-popular Thirsty Thursday featuring 12-ounce Budweiser and Coca-Cola products for only a dollar from 6-9 pm and all college students receive discounted admission of $4 with student ID. That sounds like a recipe for raucous behavior if I ever heard it.
If cheap beer isn’t your thing then the Padres have you covered the rest of the weekend with various promotions designed to attract the family, nostalgic, military and dog-loving demographics.
The Kino Reading Program held the Tucson Padres Book Challenge during the month of March that offered four free tickets to any child that read five books over the course of the month. Those that completed the challenge received tickets for this weekend’s games. Friday night’s game will also offer thundersticks to the first 2,000 fans.
Saturday night’s game will pay tribute to the Tucson Toros organization with a t-shirt giveaway to the first 2,000 adults with paid admission. The Toros played in Tucson from 1969-1997 and won the Pacific Coast League Championship in 1991 and 1993.
Sunday afternoon games are legendary at Kino.
The 1:05 start time is perfect for those looking for a relaxing day in the sun at the ballpark. The Padres host Military Appreciation Day on Sundays where active duty and veterans receive free admission. The “Bark in the Park” also allows you to bring your furry friend to the game, my golden retriever, Lexi loves going to the games. The best part of these games is when they ring the doorbell over the speakers which sends all the dogs into a barking frenzy.
If you are looking for something fun to do over the next four days, the Tucson Padres have got you covered, it is always a great time at the ballpark—even if you don’t like baseball.