1969: Defense Collapses, Padres Blow Late Lead

September 20, 1969, San Diego: Braves 3, Padres 2 (box score)

Tommie Sisk deserved better in this one, he really did. Sisk and the Padres carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth. Then things got weird.

Felipe Alou led off the frame with a grounder that second baseman Jose Arcia couldn’t handle. Two batters later, a single by ex-Padre Tony Gonzalez brought home pinch-runner Ralph Garr to tie the game.

In the ninth, with Orlando Cepeda on first and one out, Bob Didier singled to center. A Cito Caston error on the play allowed Cepeda to score and moved Didier up to third base. Frank Reberger came on for Sisk and retired Atlanta without further incident, but the Braves now led, 3-2.

The Padres got a runner into scoring position with no out in the bottom half, but Hoyt Wilhelm then retired the next three batters to preserve his team’s victory in front of 2,676 at San Diego Stadium.

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