HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 28: Alexi Amarista #5 of the San Diego Padres watches as he hits a grand slam home run in the ninth inning off of Brett Myers #39 of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 28, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Of all the games the Padres have played in 2012, Thursday night's in Houston was, hands down, the most exciting.
First Chase Headley hit one of the longest home runs of his career, a solo shot that nearly landed on the railroad tracks at Houston's Minute Maid Field. It was Headley's 8th of the season, doubling his total from 2011.
Then Andrew Cashner, back for the first time since heading down to Double-A San Antonio to build up his arm strength for a move from the bullpen to the starting rotation, took a no-hitter in to the 7th inning. Cashner struck out 9, but seemed to tire after he got above 90 pitches.
Carlos Lee broke up the no-no with a single, then Brian Bogusevic hit a 2-run homer to put Cashner (who finished with 101 pitches) in danger of taking the loss.
Houston pumped the lead up to 3-1, but in the 9th inning Astros closer Brett Myers had all kinds of issues. John Baker and Mark Kotsay delivered pinch-hit singles. Then Logan Forsythe's grounder are up 3rd baseman Chris Johnson for a run-scoring error.
Another single loaded the bases for Carlos Quentin, who fell behind in the count 0-2, and Myers hit him with a pitch to bring in the tying run!
Jesus Guzman struck out, bringing up Alexi Amarista with the bases juiced and 2 outs.
In his entire minor league career Amarista had hit 21 home runs (never more than 5 in a season). He's listed at 5'7" and 150 pounds. Basically, he's not the kind of guy you expect to smack a game-winning grand slam.
But that's exactly what he did. Amarista spun on a Myers offering and drove it in to the right field bleachers for his first Major League homer.
Nick Vincent, who threw the 8th inning, gets the win, becoming the first graduate of Ramona High School to earn a victory in the big leagues.
All in all, not a bad night at the ballpark!