Originally posted on Fox Sports San Diego  |  Last updated 4/27/12
The Padres acquired Mark Kotsay as a free agent last winter with hopes he would deliver leadership in the clubhouse and provide some much-needed help from the left side of the plate off the bench. Well, nothing helps boost the morale of a 5-14 team quite like a game-winning, two-run, pinch-hit double, which is what Kotsay delivered in the eighth inning Thursday night to help the Padres defeat Washington 2-1 to avoid being swept at Petco Park. The Padres were down 1-0 after Jayson Werth's seventh-inning homer off Edinson Volquez. Orlando Hudson drew a one-out walk in the eighth, and Cameron Maybin followed with a perfectly placed bunt single. Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard, who had rescued Nationals starter Edwin Jackson from a jam in the seventh, fell behind in the count to Kotsay with two straight balls. Kotsay swung through the next pitch. Then the 36-year-old outfielder, who lost in a 12-pitch battle with Clippard on Tuesday night, hit a one-hopper to the fence in right-center on Clippard's next pitch Maybin scoring from first on the heels of Hudson. "There's a mind-set, you want chances like that," Kotsay said. Thursday night's double raised his career average as a pinch-hitter to .315 (43-for-138), and it was his second pinch hit in as many games. Padres pinch hitters are batting .433 (13-for-30) this season.
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