Paduans Split, Teahen’s Walk Streak Ends

Tommasin Padova broke its six-game losing streak in a weekend split with Parmaclima Parma thanks to 9 2/3 shutout innings from its bullpen, but former Kansas City Royal Mark Teahen’s streak of free passes ended at 10 games. The Paduans won the Italian Baseball League series opener 6-4 on Friday before losing 4-3 a day later.

After a solid run at home to start the season, Padova’s losing streak on its home turf reached three despite a four-run first against otherwise dominant Joseph Testa. The Tommasin club was missing Teahen, a late scratch due to illness, but the club poured out 11 hit in his absence, with five coming in the first.

Filippo Pacini led off the game with a single and stole second, and Lucas Montalbetti drove him home with a two-bagger to deep centre. After a Carlos Perdomo single, Giuseppe Sciacca continued his strong play of late with a sacrifice fly, but unlike in previous contests, the Paduans mounted a second rally in the frame.

Luca Martone singled and Raffaele Medoro followed with a ground rule-double to plate Perdomo, and Martone came home on an error. Unfortunately, the 4-0 lead did not last long as Padova starter Kenny Rodríguez was drilled for the third straight start.

Parma got a single run back in the second, but erupted for four in the third and a sixth one frame later. Rodríguez (1-3, 6.95) gave up all six runs, all earned, on 10 hits and a walk, striking out two in four innings. The Cuban righthander has allowed 16 runs in his last 13 frames.

Neither club did much the rest of the day, as Testa (4-2, 3.00) earned the win with seven strong innings. While he gave up four runs, three earned, on nine hits and three walks, Testa struck out 11. José González earned his second save with two shutout frames, sending four down on strikes.

Roberto Canache made his case once more for Rodríguez’ rotation spot, turning in one of the best pitching performances for Padova this year. The righthander gave up only two hits, but whiffed an eye-popping nine in four shutout frames, dropping his ERA to 3.56. Canache has struck out 67 in 55 2/3 on the year and leads the team in every pitching category. Matteo Spada finished with a scoreless ninth.

Medoro finished a home run short of the cycle in a 4-for-5 day, while five Parma hitters collected a pair of hits. The clubs combined for 23 hits and 27 strikeouts, leaving 21 runners on base.

In the final game of the series, this time in Parma, each club took an early lead before both bullpens put things on lockdown.

Pacini got Padova started again, knocking a one-base hit in the first and moving to second on a Teahen groundball. Sciacca once more came through, poking a hit to left field that scored the scampering Pacini. The Paduans plated two in the third on three hits, one a double by Edson Piovan, a stolen base, and a wild pitch.

Parma gradually whittled down the 3-0 lead with single runs in the third and fourth, but in the fifth, Padova strung together what would be the winning run on a one-out walk to Sciacca after Teahen attempted to bunt his way aboard. A Perdomo single and Montalbetti sac fly drove home the run, and relievers Enrico Crepaldi and Rocco Tebaldi slammed the door as the Paduans advanced to double-digit wins.

Diego Fabiani started for the Tommasin club and worked in and out of jams in his 4 1/3 frames. He surrendered all three runs, though only two were earned, on three hits and four free base on balls, striking out three, as his ERA climbed slightly to 4.09. It was Crepaldi (1.0, 4.42) who earned the win, though, tossing two scoreless frames, whiffing a pair. Tebaldi earned Padova’s second save of the campaign with his most impressive work yet, striking out one and needing only 23 pitches to retire all eight batters he faced. The righty’s ERA fell all the way to 7.20 with the effort.

Michele Pomponi took the loss (2-3, 4.91), allowing all four runs and each of Padova’s hits (six), walking four in 4 1/3 innings. Luís Santana, however, matched Crepaldi and Tebaldi with 4 2/3 shutout innings, issuing three free passes and sending three down on strikes in what was also his best showing. Sciacca was 2-for-3, while Teahen went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as his season line tumbled to .206/.379/.294, though he still leads the IBL in walks (28).

The weekend split left the Paduans at 10-22, while Parma stayed at .500 (16-16). The first phase of the season finishes next weekend with Padova safe from the cellar, but 14 games out of first. The Tommasin men will welcome Angel Service Nettuno, third in the IBL at 20-12, to Padova on Friday and Saturday, with both matches slated to start at 19:30 GMT.

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About Gabriel Fidler

Card Sharp is devoted to my chief indoor hobby-baseball (and occasionally football [that's soccer to you Americans], hockey, American football, and basketball) card collecting.
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