Spangenberg’s pinch HR lifts Padres to 2-1 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Of course Cory Spangenberg dreamed as a kid of playing major league baseball.
“I never got into detail about hitting the walk-off home run. Just incredible,” Spangenberg said after getting another big league milestone out of the way.
Spangenberg’s first big league home run came on the first pitch he saw as a pinch hitter with one out in the ninth inning and gave the San Diego Padres a 2-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Two days into his big league career, Spangenberg, hitting for Cameron Maybin, connected against Brad Ziegler (5-3), sending a drive to the home run porch down the right-field line at Petco Park.
“Unbelievable. I mean, just to pinch-hit for your team in the ninth when you have other great players on the bench and to come through and get the walk-off ‘W’ for the team is an unbelievable feeling,” the 23-year-old said.
Spangenberg made his big league debut on Monday, hitting a two-run single and making two nice plays at third base.
“This guy comes as a hitter. He showed up tonight. That was great,” manager Bud Black said.
Black said hitting coach Phil Plantier “felt good about the at-bat with Spangy. Cam didn’t have great numbers against Ziegler. Phil through Ziegler’s type of pitching was pretty good for Spangy. Spangy’s sort of a slasher, likes the ball a little bit out, a little bit down and it worked out.”
Spangenberg said Plantier “trusts me. “I mean, he went up to me and said, ‘I’m going to tell Buddy you’re the man.’ I told him, ‘I’m ready to go.’”
Spangenberg hasn’t stopped smiling since he got to San Diego.
“This unbelievable so far. I’m just trying to soak everything in and enjoy the moment and hopefully it lasts for a long time.”
Ziegler said he tried to throw down and away “and I threw it mid-thigh on the inner third and it was an easy pitch for him to spin on.”
Kevin Quackenbush (3-3) pitched the ninth for the win.
The Padres had runners on first and third and no outs in the eighth before Evan Marshall struck out the side.
Rookie Odrisamer Despaigne again pitched well at Petco Park but didn’t get the decision. The Cuban right-hander allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He retired 11 straight after Miguel Montero’s RBI single in the fourth.
The Diamondbacks had three of their four hits against Despaigne in the fourth. Cliff Pennington and David Peralta singled before Mark Trumbo struck out. Montero then singled to center to bring in Pennington.
Despaigne has a 2.11 ERA in seven home starts while his ERA in six road starts is 4.45.
Arizona’s Wade Miley had a similar line to Despaigne, allowing one run and seven hits in seven innings.
San Diego tied it in the fifth when it got three hits against Miley, including Alexi Amarista’s run-scoring single to left.
In his last five starts, Miley is 0-2 with a 2.20 ERA after getting just six runs of support.
Ziegler said it stunk to have the game end like it did.
“Wade pitches his butt off to get us there and Evan was incredible to get out of the eighth. It’s just frustrating. I just didn’t make a good pitch.”
Spangenberg said he got his home run ball from a couple of season ticket holders in exchange for a couple of autographed balls.
“That’s great that they could do that. I really appreciate them doing that. If they need anything else I can get something,” Spangenberg said.
It was the fourth win in the last at-bat in the last six games for the Padres, including three straight games Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Diamondbacks: Reinstated OF A.J. Pollock (fractured right hand) and INF Chris Owings (strained left shoulder) from the 15-day disabled list.
Padres: Among their many moves was recalling INF Ryan Jackson from Triple-A El Paso and placing him on the 60-day disabled list with a right wrist strain.
Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (9-7, 3.94 ERA) looks to beat Padres again. He’s 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in two starts against San Diego this year.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-6, 2.37 ERA) has not factored in the decision in his two starts since coming off his second stint on the disabled list.