1969: Padres Can’t Come Back in Cincy

September 11, 1969, Cincinnati: Reds 6, Padres 4 (box score)

The Padres dug themselves into a serious hole early in this one, and couldn’t quite get back out of it. After mounting a minor threat in the second inning, the Reds touched up San Diego starter Tommie Sisk in the third.

Pitcher Gary Nolan led off the frame with a single to center. After Ted Savage drew a walk, Bobby Tolan singled home Nolan, and Pete Rose drove in two more with a double to center. Johnny Bench then singled, but center fielder Jerry Morales nailed Rose at the plate for the inning’s first out.

Exit Sisk, enter Jack Baldschun. The first batter Baldschun faced, Lee May, whacked a double that scored Bench and put the Reds up, 4-0. After another walk put runners at the corners, Tommy Helms grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Cincinnati scored two more runs in the fourth. The big blows were an RBI double by Savage and an infield single by Rose.

The Padres, to their credit, didn’t role over and play dead. In the fifth, Jim Williams, batting for Baldschun, lined a single (his first big-league hit) to right to lead off the inning. Williams scored one out later on Roberto Pena’s fourth homer of the year.

The score remained 6-2 until San Diego came to bat in the top of the eighth. Nate Colbert led off with a single to left. With one out, Ivan Murrell doubled to center, advancing Colbert to third. After Fred Kendall popped out, Ed Spiezio singled back up the middle, plating both runners.

Wayne Granger relieved Nolan for the Reds, and Ollie Brown beat out an infield single to put runners at first and second. But Cito Gaston, batting for Frankie Libran, grounded to short to end the inning. Granger would return to work an uneventful ninth and put the finishing touches on Cincinnati’s 6-4 victory.

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