san diego — Clayton Richard came lumbering wide around third base and headed for home, scoring standing up.
“Just straight Michigan quarterback sprinting,” manager Bud Black quipped after the San Diego Padres’ memorable 3-2, 13-inning victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Two innings after Angels manager Mike Scioscia vacated left field against a right-handed batter in favor of a drawn-in, five-man infield, it was Black’s turn to try something out of the ordinary in an attempt to win a game in which both teams ran out of position players and had to use a starting pitcher to pinch hit.
Black turned to Richard, a former backup quarterback at Michigan who is scheduled to start tonight at St. Louis. Richard, 0-for-16 this season, got a pinch-hit single to left with two outs in the 13th off David Pauley (0-1). Will Venable followed with a single to left-center that fill-in left fielder Howard Kendrick bobbled for an error and Richard scored from first.
“It’s definitely not something you anticipate going to the ballpark that day,” said Richard, now 2-for-2 in his career as a pinch hitter. “A pleasant surprise.”
After he scored, Richard’s momentum carried him through a pack of happy teammates who were on their way to mob Venable on the infield grass.
“It’s a lot of fun to be part of it,” Richard said. “I was just running as fast as I could; made sure I hit the bases. It was exciting. Our team played great baseball. It was a fun game.”
By taking two of three from the Angels, the Padres had their first winning homestand of the season, going 3-2 against the Dodgers and Angels. It was just their third series win in 14 this season.
Rookie Miles Mikolas (1-1) pitched two perfect innings for his first big league win.
“That ball in the outfield, I just have to field that ball cleanly and get it back into the infield,” Kendrick said. “It took a little hop, but at the same time, knowing who’s running and knowing the situation, you have to keep that ball in front of you and try to catch it clean. I made a mistake and they ended up winning a game on it.”
Angels starter Ervin Santana, trying to win his third straight start, took a 2-0 lead into the fifth before the Padres tied it. Mike Trout scored both of the Angels’ runs.