Josh Geer picked up the first win of the season for a Tucson Padres starting pitcher, throwing six scoreless innings as Tucson snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over the River Cats.
Some news and notes from the win:
--Manager Terry Kennedy was impressed with Geer's outing, in which he gave up just four hits and one walk. He said Geer did a nice job taking advantage of Sacramento's eagerness to swing at the plate and worked in and out of the strike zone. "He's a veteran guy who senses the hitters he's facing and makes pitches," Kennedy said. "He was feeding off the hitters greed a little bit."
--With Geer's six shutout innings, Tucson starters have now gone 16 straight innings without giving up a run. The streak started Monday when Matt Palmer finished his outing with two scoreless innings. Joe Wieland got it up to four with two scoreless innings before he was pulled from the game because of a big league promotion. Casey Kelly increased the number to 10 with six scoreless innings in a no-decision on Wednesday and Geer got it up to 16 with his start Thursday.
--Dale Thayer worked a perfect eighth inning and has grabbed Kennedy's eye early this season. Thayer has yet to give up a hit or a run in five innings (four games) so far. Kennedy pointed out that Thayer has 125 career minor league saves and knows how to navigate late-game situations.
--Cory Burns pitched the ninth inning in the win, but Kennedy said he would have thrown Brad Boxberger in the final inning if it was a save situation. Tucson led 3-0 going into the eighth, but scored two runs to stretch it to a five-run lead. At that point, Kennedy decided to go with Burns over Boxberger. Boxberger blew a save Wednesday night in the team's 3-2 loss. "I usually like getting guys out there right away after one gets away, but we want to save Boxey if we need him tomorrow," Kennedy said. "Burnsey did a nice job and closed it out for us."
--Kennedy expects infielder Everth Cabrera to return to the lineup Friday at Salt Lake City. The manager said he made it through pregame batting and fielding fine and looks ready to go. Cabrera has missed the last five games with a stiff back. The manager said he'll rotate Cabrera and Blake Tekotte in the top two spots in the order and is excited to have that 1-2 punch back.