Brewers draw 10-10 tie against Padres
Suppan gave up a towering three-run homer to Kyle Blanks and a two-run double to Emil Brown and the Milwaukee Brewers tied the San Diego Padres 10-10 after 10 innings Thursday.
The Brewers rallied from a 5-0 deficit for seven runs in the fifth, capped by a three-run homer with two outs by Corey Hart. Jason Kendall hit a solo homer in the sixth and Prince Fielder added a two-run shot in the seventh for Milwaukee.
Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run homer in the seventh for San Diego, which also scored three times in the eighth to tie it.
Blanks hit Suppan’s slider deep to left-center field in the third, Suppan’s final inning after giving up six hits and two walks.
“My pitches had good tilt, good depth, I just was inconsistent with all of them,” said Suppan, who went 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in five September starts last season and lost Game 4 to the Phillies in the NL division series to eliminate Milwaukee from the playoffs. “My command still needs to get a lot better, but I had a lot of good pitches.”
Suppan signed a $42 million, four-year contract to move from St. Louis to Milwaukee before the 2007 season, but has gone 22-22 with a 4.78 ERA over 65 starts. He had allowed four runs in his previous three spring training starts this year.
“There weren’t many swings and misses,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said.
Said Suppan: “It’s still the fourth game back after being off all this time. You have to take that into consideration, too, but that being said, you always are going out there to pitch to win, get guys out. Just right now, I’m just not getting out as many guys out as I could.”
Meanwhile, Padres starter Josh Geer pitched three hitless innings. Geer has been sharp against the Brewers, allowing just one run over five innings in two starts against Milwaukee.
“I felt really good, mixed in the slider, which was a key, instead of just throwing fastball-changeup. My fastball was down today, I was working both sides of the plate throwing strikes,” he said.
Blanks gave the Padres another glimpse of the future. One of the top prospects in San Diego’s system, the 6-foot-6 first baseman is getting extended playing time with Adrian Gonzalez playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
The 22-year-old Blanks, who’ll likely head to Triple-A Portland, leads San Diego in the spring in hits, total bases and runs scored among other statistics. He has driven in at least 100 runs in each of the last two seasons in the minors and earned the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2008 at Double-A San Antonio.
“It’s great for his confidence to face big league pitchers every day. He’s swinging the bat great,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “It’s a great thing that he’s coming to camp, getting an opportunity to play and showing what he can do.”