Posted May 20, 2012 on AP on Fox
Alexi Amarista gave the San Diego Padres quite a boost for a guy who's just 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds. Amarista scored San Diego's first two runs against his former team and then doubled in the go-ahead run off Dan Haren in the seventh inning to lead the Padres to a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night. ''I was happy with everything I did today,'' Amarista said through an interpreter. ''I was very emotional. I felt good. I just want to keep doing my job, keep getting better, keep trying to get in scoring position, or if guys are in scoring position, then get them in.'' Amarista, who was on the Angels' opening day roster, started his third straight game for the Padres at second base. He replaced Orlando Hudson, who was waived Thursday as part of a shake-up of the middle infield. Amarista and shortstop Everth Cabrera, who has replaced the injured Jason Bartlett, were recalled from Triple-A Tucson. Amarista appeared in one game for the Angels as a pinch-runner before being optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. He was acquired from the Angels on May 3 along with minor league right-hander Donn Roach for reliever Ernesto Frieri. ''I think he plays hard every day, but there's a little different emotion when you play against your former team, especially so early after a trade,'' manager Bud Black. ''Even the Angels told me this, he doesn't scare off. He's loose, he plays hard. So it was good to see him contribute today.'' Erick Aybar tied his career high with four hits, falling a home run short of the cycle. He had an RBI triple and scored a run. He singled with one out in the ninth and reached third with two outs before Dale Thayer struck out Ryan Langerhans to earn his fifth save in as many chances. The Padres handed Haren (1-5) his fourth straight loss. Haren has lost seven of nine decisions dating to last season. He allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked one. ''They manufactured runs,'' Haren said. ''You have to tip your hat. Six hits, five singles, a bloop double. It wasn't like I was hit all over the yard. They did the little things.'' With the game tied at 2, Nick Hundley singled to left to open the seventh and was sacrificed by Cabrera. Amarista followed with a slicing double to left to put the Padres ahead. Amarista manufactured a run in the third. He reached on an infield single, beat the throw when catcher John Hester went for the lead runner on newcomer Eric Stults' sacrifice bunt, and then daringly took third on Will Venable's fly to left, beating Mike Trout's throw. Amarista then scored on Cameron Maybin's sacrifice fly to left. That tied the game at 1. The Angels went ahead in the fifth when Aybar hit a leadoff double off the base of the left-field wall, advanced on Haren's sacrifice bunt and scored on Trout's groundout. Amarista tied it for the Padres in the bottom of the inning when he drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed by Stults, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Cameron Maybin's single to center. Stults, a left-hander acquired off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, made his Padres debut in place of Tim Stauffer, who went on the disabled list for the second time this year with an elbow injury. Stults allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked three. ''My goal was to give them a quality start,'' Stults said. ''I know they've had the injury bug, so they needed somebody to come in and throw some innings, so my goal was to get as far as I could in the game for them.'' Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: ''He just pitched. He took a little bit off, he put a little bit on. It was a frustrating night in the batter's box for us.'' Luke Gregerson (1-0) relieved Stults with two outs in the seventh and a runner on second and got Trout to fly out. Notes: Black said the Padres plan to send RHP Nick Vincent back to Triple-A Tucson and recall right-hander Matt Palmer. ... The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Electrician's Mate 1st Class Nathan Burnett of the USS San Diego, which was commissioned earlier Saturday. Burnett was the 45th-round draft pick of the Angels in 1996. ... The Padres placed OF Mark Kotsay on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled outfielder Blake Tekotte from Triple-A Tucson. Kotsay's move is retroactive to last Sunday. The 36-year-old is hitting .294 with one homer and six RBIs in 18 games, and is 3 for 10 as a pinch-hitter, with a double, homer and four RBIs. Tekotte is up for the second time this season. He was first recalled April 28 and played in five games before being optioned back to Tucson on May 8. ... The series concludes Sunday when the Angels' Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.36 ERA) is scheduled to face Anthony Bass (2-4, 2.87).
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