SAN DIEGO (AP) - Of course Cory Spangenberg dreamed as a kid of playing major league baseball.
“I never got into detail about hitting the walk-off home run. Just incredible,” Spangenberg said after getting another big league milestone out of the way.
Spangenberg’s first big league home run came on the first pitch he saw as a pinch hitter with one out in the ninth inning and gave the San Diego Padres a 2-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Two days into his big league career, Spangenberg, hitting for Cameron Maybin, connected against Brad Ziegler (5-3), sending a drive to the home run porch down the right-field line at Petco Park.
“Unbelievable. I mean, just to pinch-hit for your team in the ninth when you have other great players on the bench and to come through and get the walk-off ‘W’ for the team is an unbelievable feeling,” the 23-year-old said.
Spangenberg made his big league debut on Monday, hitting a two-run single and making two nice plays at third base.
“This guy comes as a hitter. He showed up tonight. That was great,” manager Bud Black said.
Black said hitting coach Phil Plantier “felt good about the at-bat with Spangy. Cam didn’t have great numbers against Ziegler. Phil through Ziegler’s type of pitching was pretty good for Spangy. Spangy’s sort of a slasher, likes the ball a little bit out, a little bit down and it worked out.”
Spangenberg said Plantier “trusts me. “I mean, he went up to me and said, ‘I’m going to tell Buddy you’re the man.’ I told him, ‘I’m ready to go.’”
Spangenberg hasn’t stopped smiling since he got to San Diego.
“This unbelievable so far. I’m just trying to soak everything in and enjoy the moment and hopefully it lasts for a long time.”
Ziegler said he tried to throw down and away “and I threw it mid-thigh on the inner third and it was an easy pitch for him to spin on.”
Kevin Quackenbush (3-3) pitched the ninth for the win.
The Padres had runners on first and third and no outs in the eighth before Evan Marshall struck out the side.
Rookie Odrisamer Despaigne again pitched well at Petco Park but didn’t get the decision. The Cuban right-hander allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He retired 11 straight after Miguel Montero’s RBI single in the fourth.