MIAMI, FL - JUNE 28: Dave Roberts #10 of the San Diego Padres laughs in the dugout prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Steve Mitchell/Getty Images)
When last we saw Padres 2nd baseman Logan Forsythe, he was committing two errors on one play in an extra-innings loss to Philadelphia.
But, in this game, you'd better have short-term memory loss. Forsythe got right back up on the horse and led the Padres to a 9-2 win over the Marlins in the first game of their 10-game, East Coast road trip up.
Forsythe played spotless defense and had three hits, including a 2-run homer off Miami starter Ricky Nolasco that drove in what proved to be the winning run and raised his season average to .303. Forsythe has played 18 games for the Padres this year, and had at multiple hits in seven of them.
His play has eased the sting of losing rookie 2nd baseman Jedd Gyorko, who was scheduled to come off the disabled list this weekend but suffered a setback with his injured groin when he tried to stretch a single in to a double during a minor league game for AA San Antonio. Gyorko's return is now up in the air again.
Forsythe's HR was the first big blow, but certainly not the only. Right fielder Will Venable also had three hits and drove in three runs, but his biggest contribution came on defense.
In the 4th inning, the Marlins put the tying run on base when Nolasco lofted a fly ball to right. Venable sprinted in and made a diving catch to end the inning and preserve the lead. Venable is making a habit of fantastic, game-saving catches. His over-the-head, diving catch at the warning track in San Francisco is still the best catch in baseball this year.
The grab helped Edinson Volquez get his sixth win of the year. Volquez tossed 6 innings of 2-run ball, striking out eight. But most important, he only walked one Marlin, a tremendous improvement from his last outing, where he issued seven walks in a loss to the Dodgers.
Ramona High School alum Nick Vincent threw a scoreless 7th inning. Vincent has tossed 10 innings this season and allowed exactly zero runs.
The final two innings belonged to rookie right-hander Burch Smith. Called up from Tucson before the game, Smith made his 4th appearance for the Padres, but first in relief, and he threw well. Smith allowed one hit and struck out one without allowing a run. It was the first time he pitched in a big league game without allowing a run, a great sign for the youngster who (and I've said this before) has electric stuff.
The Padres record improves to 40-40. If they beat the Marlins on Saturday (Eric Stults starts against Jacob Turner), they'll hit the halfway point of the season with a winning record.
If you were saying that would happen back in April, please call me because we're going to Las Vegas.