SAN DIEGO (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera and Yan Gomes each hit a three-run homer, Carlos Santana had a solo shot and the Cleveland Indians routed the San Diego Padres 16-4 Friday night at the University of San Diego’s Fowler Park.
The Indians batted around in both of the first two innings, scoring seven runs in each frame.
This was the opener of a two-game series at Fowler Park, named for Padres vice chairman Ron Fowler, who donated $10 million for its construction. Fowler is chairman of the board of trustees at USD.
The Indians’ first seven batters reached base in the first. Cabrera homered to right off Matt Wisler, one of San Diego’s top prospects, and hit an RBI single in the second just ahead of Gomes’ homer to right-center.
The Indians had 20 hits and scored all their runs in the first three innings. Once the Padres’ major league pitchers took over, they held the Indians scoreless.
Cabrera and Gomes each went 3 for 4.
“Well, this doesn’t happen very often – you’re playing in a ballpark with a quick infield,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “The ball shot out to right. You get locked in. It doesn’t mean that kid can’t pitch. We came out swinging and the ball shot through the infield and it carried to right. It played real small to right field.”
Indians: Right-hander Zach McAllister struck out six and held San Diego to two runs and three hits in four innings. “He was throwing the ball real well,” Francona said. “High pitch counts. A hard game; a lot of sitting around. That’s a good thing because we were swinging the bats. As we get into the season, we want to see 90 pitches in the sixth or seventh. But it’s the end of spring. He is strong and there’s a lot to build off of.”
Padres: Wisler allowed seven runs and four hits in one inning. “He was off,” manager Bud Black said. “He just couldn’t regroup at all. It was a great learning experience for him, pitching against a major league team. It was a good test for him. But hopefully from this test he learned a lot.”
Indians: Center fielder Michael Bourn, who will open the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, remained in Arizona. “He wants to be out there and we appreciate that, but with so many games left to play, that’s the component that’s so important,” Francona said. “We have to let him feel good about himself.”
Francona also said Jason Giambi isn’t feeling any pain and will take batting practice in Oakland, where the Indians open the season Monday night. He will be added to the 40-man roster and start the season on the disabled list. He was hit by a pitch from Edwin Jackson of the Cubs on March 7.
Padres: Reliever Dale Thayer was knocked out of the game with a bruised right forearm when he was hit with a one-hopper by Gomes. Center fielder Will Venable was a late scratch when his back acted up.
Before the game, Black said it’s a possibility that left fielder Carlos Quentin will go on the disabled list due to a sore left knee. Quentin had surgery on his right knee in September, the third operation on the joint in 18 months. He said he was pain-free going into spring training. RHP Josh Johnson will go on the DL to start the season with a sore forearm. Quentin and Johnson make a combined $17.5 million.
COLLEGE BALLYARD: The Padres let USD host this two-game series because of Fowler’s strong ties to the school. He donated $10 million toward construction of the park, which cost $13 million and opened in 2013.
Profits from the two games will be split between the university and the Padres Foundation.
The series is serving as a dry run in case USD hosts an NCAA regional. When the Toreros hosted a regional in 2007, they had to use San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium because their old ballpark didn’t have lights. For this series, temporary bleachers increased capacity from 1,700 to 3,000.
Fowler Park has no visitors’ clubhouse, so the Indians are using the home clubhouse, which is major league quality. The Padres took batting practice at Petco Park earlier in the day and bused to Fowler Park. They used the visitors’ dugout.
The Toreros’ most notable athletic product is Kris Bryant, the 2013 Golden Spikes Award winner who was drafted second overall by the Chicago Cubs.
Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson