Padres' blunders result in loss

Loretta error, one of many

Dennis Tankersley made his first start of the 2004 season on Saturday, going six innings and allowing three unearned runs. Three straight hits in the eighth inning netted just one run and two outs for the San Diego Padres. Giving runs away on both ends, offensively and defensively was the story of the game.

A botched throw from Mark Loretta to Khalil Greene in the second inning opened the door to a three run inning.

With one out and runners on first and second, Dennis Tankersley induced a slow grounder to second from Keith Ginter which brought Loretta in. Instead of making sure he got the one out, Loretta attempted a backhand toss that went to the third base side of second and Greene could not catch it with his bare hand. That loaded the bases. After Gary Bennett popped out to center, not advancing any runners, the pitcher, Wes Obermueller, doubled down the line to clear the bases. It was the first extra base hit of his career.

Tankersley then walked the next two batters to load the bases before striking out Craig Counsel to end the inning. Tank went six innings and allowed just three hits while striking out nine. He took the loss, but certainly did not deserve it.

The Padres had a chance to get one back in the eighth. Brian Giles tried to score from second, getting a late break on a chopper from Phil Nevin that almost didn't squeeze through the shortstop-third base hole. The throw home beat Giles by a mile and Giles tried to slide under the tag as former Friar Gary Bennett tagged him out. It was the first out of the inning and a definite error in judgement from Giles.

Terrence Long then hit a double to the wall that scored Nevin to make the score 4-3. Long looked to extend the double into three but was thrown out at third by Craig Counsel, the second man thrown out trying to stretch the play for the second out of the inning.

The Padres got one back in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 3-1. Brian Giles opened with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Phil Nevin single.

They inched even closer in the seventh. After Ramon Hernandez walked to open the inning and Kerry Robinson, pinch-hitting for Tankersley, hit into a force out, Robinson stole second base. Sean Burroughs hit a grounder up the middle and Robinson came home to score to make it 3-2.

The Brewers extended the lead in the bottom half when Ginter doubled to open the inning. He moved to third on a ground out and after a failed attempt at a squeeze, Ginter came home on a wild pitch by Jay Witasick to make the score 4-2.

Notes:

The Padres put the leadoff hitter aboard in seven-of-nine innings.

Tankersley's last and only start against the Brewers came May 26, 2002 at Milwaukee. In that game earned his first Major League win after allowing five runs in 5.2 innings as the Padres won 8-7. He became the first Friar to earn his first Major League victory and hit his first home run in the same game.

Tankersley was recalled from Triple-A Portland on May 21...went 3-2 with a 2.29 ERA (13 ER/51.0 IP) in eight starts with the Beavers. He was promoted to San Diego leading the Pacific Coast League in ERA and tied for fifth in innings pitched. Over his last five starts with the Beavers posted a perfect 3-0 record and a 1.69 ERA (6 ER/32.0 IP).

Padres hitters have struck out fewer times than any other team in the league. They struck out X times on Saturday.

Lifetime, the Padres are 26-19 against Milwaukee, 12-11 in Milwaukee and 4-6 at Miller Park.

Players Mark Loretta, Jeff Cirillo, Rob Picciolo and Tony Muser are former Brewers and Davey Lopes is a former manager while Matt Vasgersian is a former broadcaster for the team.

The first 10,000 kids, 16-and under, will receive a mini-bobblehead doll of Brewers leftfielder Geoff Jenkins on Sunday, May 30, courtesy of Sentry Foods.

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