Tucson Padres baseball
Padres stumble vs. Rainiers, drop out of first place
The Padres fell out of first place in the Southern Division on Monday as the Tacoma Rainiers defeated Tucson 4-2 at Cheney Stadium. Tucson had spent 24 days on top of the division before the loss.
The Padres surrendered a run in the first inning for the sixth straight game when Michael Morse blasted a two-run home run to give the Rainiers an early lead. The at-bat for Morse was his first in an injury rehab assignment with Tacoma. Stefen Romero brought home a run with a single in the fourth and later scored on Brandon Bantz's bunt to push the Rainiers lead to 4-0.
Tucson brought around its first run in the fifth on Jaff Decker's RBI double. Tacoma starting pitcher James Paxton held a 13.2 inning scoreless streak against the Padres, dating back to his July 8 shutout in Tucson, before surrendering the double to Decker. Mike Wilson's RBI single in the eighth closed the gap to 4-2. Later in the inning with two outs and the bases loaded, Cody Decker lined a shot to left field, but Romero made a running grab on the warning track to end the threat. Logan Bawcom closed out the ninth for the Rainiers to record his 17th save of the season.
Paxton won his seventh game for Tacoma, while scattering four hits and a run without any walks. The left-hander struck out seven batters in six innings of work. Brandon Kloess was charged with the loss after allowing four runs in seven innings and tossed a career-high 108 pitches. Kloess also set down nine batters in row from the fourth to sixth inning.
Tim Hagerty is the play-by-play announcer for the Tucson Padres.