The last time Andrew Carpenter faced the Tucson Padres on May 30, he did not record a quality start and sacrificed two homeruns. But Tuesday night was different.
The Las Vegas starting pitcher shut out the Padres on his June 19 outing through 7 innings, as the 51s beat Tucson, 8-2, in the first of a four-game set.
“Carpenter was using his changeup really well tonight,” Padres second baseman Anthony Contreras said. “A lot of our guys were chasing it, and he was missing our bats. He also kept the ball down, which worked well for him tonight.”
The 27-year-old went 7 innings on 0 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts.
In Tuesday night’s contest, Reno’s leadoff hitter Anthony Gose opened up the game with a triple. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Adeiny Hechavarria to put the 51s up, 1-0.
Hechavarria gave himself another RBI in the third inning with a double to increase Las Vegas’s lead to 2-0. Also in the third, outfielder Travis Snider widened the score margin on a three-run homerun to right-center field.
The 51s enjoyed a four-run inning in the third to lead 5-0 after three.
Las Vegas tacked on another run in the top of the fourth, compliments of a Jonathan Diaz sacrifice fly.
After a bases loaded walk to drive another run in, Tucson Padres manager Terry Kennedy had seen enough of Tucson starter Kip Wells in the fifth.
“(Wells) didn’t have any command of his fastball, and fastball command is everything,” Kennedy said. “He threw a lot of curveballs for strikes, and I think he should’ve gone to it more. He couldn’t get ahead (in the count) and had trouble throwing first-pitch strikes.”
Wells went 4 1/3 innings on 7 runs (6 earned), 7 hits, 5 walks and 1 strikeout.
Wells was relieved by Neil Wagner, who came in with the bases loaded with one out and his team down, 7-0.
Wagner induced a pop-up and a groundball to end the inning. The 28-year-old went on to pitch a 1-2-3 scoreless sixth inning.
“My goal coming in at that point was to get ahead of (Kevin) Howard in the count early and work from there,” Wagner said. “I actually fell behind, but fortunately I got him to make weak contact on a high fastball. And then with Diaz, I was able to have him roll out a slider to get out of it.”
Despite back-to-back hits, the 51s were held scoreless in the top of the eighth, assisted by two diving catches by Contreras. The Tucson second baseman went 3-for-4 on the night.
The 51s would add another run on in the top of the ninth to have the score sit at 8-0, in favor of Las Vegas.
But the Padres refused to be shutout. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Contreras doubled to left-center and Cody Decker followed with a walk. Sawyer Carroll drove both of them in on a triple, which Gose almost robbed him of with a diving catch in center field.
But this is as much offense as Tucson could muster, as Tuesday night’s contest ended at 8-2.
“We just couldn’t get much going at the plate tonight,” Kennedy said. “Carpenter did a great job keeping the ball down. We didn’t get much to hit, so you have to give him credit.”
Tucson left 8 runners on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
The Padres continue their series against the 51s tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Kino Stadium.