Amidst a season of disappointment and lack of interest from the once dedicated fan base, the Phillies decided it was time to initiate the first "Bark in the Park" promotion at Citizen's Bank Park. With hundreds of dogs scattered throughout the stadium, the team couldn't seem to figure out the San Diego Padres' starter. Andrew Cashner, a former bullpen guy and one of the hardest throwers in the game, carried a no hitter through the first third of the game, and only allowed a single run. And, despite a late rally, the home squad couldn't overcome the early deficit.
The trouble started early on for Phillies' starter Tyler Cloyd, in the first inning to be exact. He did manage to retire the first two batters of the game, but a Jedd Gyorko double put Chase Headley in position to open the scoring. A two out single with Gyorko on second gave Headley the first RBI of the game, and the Padres jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
It would take until the fourth inning for the Padres to score again. A Gyorko single to begin the frame and a Kyle Blanks base hit with one away put two on for Ronny Cedeno. He would come through with a double off of Cloyd to bring Gyorko home once more. Rene Rivera followed up with a double of his home to score another two, extending the Padre lead to 4-0 through four innings. However, it was the fifth inning where San Diego truly ran away with the game.
After two straight singles by Will Venebal and Chris Denorfia started the fifth, Gyorko lined a ball that hopped off Chase Utley's glove. With the ball headed into the right field gap, Gyorko would reach first and Venebal would score. Utley would make the relay catch and try to throw to third, but the ball hit off of a sliding Denorfia and allowed Gyorko to advance to second. Zack Miner would enter the game for Cloyd, and immediately allowed Headley to single for an RBI. Later in the frame, Blanks and Cedeno would also record RBI singles, and the Padres jumped out to an 8-0 advantage.
Cody Asche would not allow Cashner to record the shutout, and blasted a solo homerun into the right center field seats to open the Phillies scoring. They'd score again in the bottom of the eighth, when Andrew Cashner would be removed after 107 pitches and 7.2 innings pitched. He did allow Cameron Rupp to record his first major league hit, an infield single. Dale Thayer, coming into the game with John Mayberry Jr. already on first and Cameron Rupp on second, gave up an infield hit to Roger Bernadina. Cesar Hernandez then walked to bring in a run. With the bases loaded, though, Michael Martinez struck out, and they would not score again. The Padres take the opening game of the series, 8-2.
After sweeping a team as good as the Braves, a loss to the Padres for the Phillies is a bit surprising. However, it is tough to come back in games when you're down eight runs. Tyler Clod certainly did not have his best stuff, and seems more and more likely to start next season with Lehigh Valley. Meanwhile, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg revealed after the game that home plate umpire Mark Wegner told him that Rupp's framing was the best he's seen all season, and gave Wegner plenty of room to call the game. Sandberg seemed to take pride in the compliment, and it could mean some extra incentive for Rupp to make the ballclub next season. The Padres series will continue tomorrow night, as Cliff Lee will take on Eric Stults at 7:05. Some pregame activities will take place for the anniversary of September 11th.