SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Thanks to a rare home run at home by Phil Nevin, Trevor Hoffman was able to come in and earn his 368th career
save to take sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list.
The bullpen ace threw a perfect ninth to help the San Diego
Padres to a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
"It's nice to be mentioned with the guys who are revered in
this game, but more importantly, we're trying to win ballgames and
that's my focus," Hoffman said. "There'll be time later to
reflect and I'll be awfully excited."
Hoffman earned his 16th save in 18 chances this year. He had
been tied for fourth all-time with Jeff Reardon. Next up on the
career list is Dennis Eckersley, who's going into the Hall of Fame
on July 25, with 390.
It was just the fourth win in 13 games for the Padres, who had
been roughed up by AL East teams in interleague play.
Hoffman tied Reardon on Saturday night. Six days earlier, he
blew a save at Yankee Stadium by allowing consecutive home runs
with two outs in the ninth in a game the Yankees won 6-5 in 12
"A week ago, I was humbled pretty good," he said.
Nevin's two-run shot off left-hander Casey Fossum with two outs
in the third gave the Padres a 2-1 lead. Nevin drove a 2-0 pitch an
estimated 325 feet into the home run porch down the right-field
It was just the 18th homer for the Padres in 35 home games at
their new downtown ballpark. Nevin and fellow slugger Ryan Klesko
have complained that the ball doesn't carry well to right and
right-center at the $458 million ballpark. The gap in right-center
is the deepest part of the park at 411 feet.
Nevin caught some grief from him teammates.
"Hey, it's a bandbox," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We'd been
kidding him: '325 feet and he got a home run.' "We needed a shot
in the arm and we got it."
Nevin said this was the first time he was happy with the design
of the ballpark.
"I think we just beat on what this park is too much," Nevin
said. "The more you talk about it, the more maybe you do think
about it when you are up there. The bottom line is you've got to
take good at-bats and hit the ball hard. So what if it does take a
home run or two away? I still believe we're going to win more games
than we lose here, because it is a home-field advantage."
Nevin has homered just four times and driven in 13 runs at
Petco. Overall, he's got 10 homers and 43 RBI.
The Padres' 44 homers are the fewest in the majors.
Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly wasn't amused.
"Casey was damn good," Brenly said. "He had all of his
pitches working. Save for a pop-up hit into a tricked-up corner of
a ballpark, he probably would have had a better result. It's not
for me to talk about ballpark design, but they put that short porch
out there and Nevin found it."
Fossum thought Nevin's ball was going to be caught.
"It just looked like a fly ball," Fossum said. "It barely got
out. It's 322 down the line. Bad luck, I guess. I made one mistake
and it cost us."
The Diamondbacks had taken a 1-0 lead in the first when Scott
Hairston hit a leadoff double, was sacrificed to third by Steve
Finley and scored on Danny Bautista's groundout.
Nevin's defense helped bail out Ismael Valdez (6-3) after the
right-hander loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth by allowing
infield singles to Finley and Bautista, and a walk to Luis
Gonzalez. Shea Hillenbrand hit a grounder to Nevin, who threw home
to get Finley and start a 3-2-3 double play.
With runners on second and third, Chad Tracy grounded out to end
Valdez went seven innings, allowing one run and seven hit while
walking three and striking out two.
Fossum (1-6) allowed two runs and six hits with striking out
five in six innings, with one walk.
Matt Bush, the top pick by the Padres in the draft two
weeks ago, was suspended indefinitely by the team a day after he
was arrested at a bar in Peoria, Ariz., for investigation of
trespass, disorderly conduct and assault, said a spokeswoman for
the Peoria Police Department. ... Finley started even though he had
a .102 lifetime average against Valdez coming in. Finley got two
infield singles. ... The Padres and Diamondbacks were both swept in
three-game series by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during the last week.
... The Diamondbacks (27-43) dropped a season-low 16 games below
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