SAN DIEGO (AP)—While the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers have been busy in the trade market, San Diego pretty much stood pat.
And that’s just fine by the Padres.
“We have a great clubhouse, a great group of guys,” said Phil Nevin, who called Padres general manager Kevin Towers on Saturday to thank him for not making a major trade.
Nevin’s infield single drove in the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth inning to give San Diego a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night.
The emotional victory seemed to also signal a moral victory in the Padres’ clubhouse.
“Our team didn’t need to be disrupted,” Nevin said. “I think we have too good of a group down here. I’m not saying that we’re going to win it, but I like the guys we have.”
Towers was booed during a pregame ceremony, which did not sit well with Nevin.
“The fans booing him before the game, that wasn’t right,” Nevin said. “At the end of the year, they’re going to be cheering him.”
Towers was only able to pull off two minor deals before Saturday’s trading deadline. The only addition to the Padres’ major league roster was bringing in Dave Hansen, a utility player and pinch hitter, from Seattle.
The Dodgers were 45-0 in games they’ve led after seven innings before San Diego’s comeback.
“My emotions were going crazy,” Padres starting pitcher Jake Peavy said. “It was a very emotional game. It was a must-win, one we couldn’t give up. It was fun to be a part of, a total team effort. This team has such character. We have good chemistry rolling. I will take the 25 guys we have in this clubhouse.”
Terrence Long led off the eighth with a single off Darren Dreifort and moved to second on Khalil Greene’s sacrifice. Pinch-hitter Sean Burroughs walked and Loretta followed with a single to center to tie it. Burroughs took third base on center fielder Milton Bradley’s error.
Nevin then hit a slow roller up the third-base line that scored Burroughs when third baseman Adrian Beltre was unable to field it, putting San Diego ahead 3-2.
“The first two pitches (from Dreifort), I was looking for and I didn’t do anything with them,” Nevin said. “The last one, I just got a piece of it.”
Dreifort (1-2) allowed two runs on three hits with two walks in one inning.
“We were ready to bring (closer Eric) Gagne in, even with the runner at second base,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “But with five outs at the end of July and two months to go, that was too much of a reach.”
The Dodgers wasted a strong outing by Ishii, who allowed four hits over 6 1-3 innings—and hit his first career homer.
“I’ve been feeling a little more confident with my batting,” said Ishii, who had two singles in his last start at Colorado.
Ishii struck out seven and walked three before he left with runners on first and second. Giovanni Carrara relieved and got Ramon Hernandez to hit into an inning-ending double play on a comebacker to the mound on the first pitch.
Ishii’s home run was his first in 121 at-bats. He came in hitting only .135 (4-for-35), but hit an 0-1 fastball from Peavy a few rows deep into the right-field seats.
It was one of the few mistakes made by Peavy, who allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings as the Padres beat the Dodgers for only the fourth time in 11 games this season.
Choi started in his first game with the Dodgers after being part of Friday’s six-player trade with the Florida Marlins.
The Padres tied it in the second on Payton’s two-out single that scored Nevin, who doubled.
Tracy said he didn’t want to use newly acquired Steve Finley because he wasn’t warmed up. “If he went out and pulled a hamstring, you’d kill yourself,” Tracy said. … Peavy has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 15 starts. … The Dodgers have homered in 22 of 24 games, and have 123 this season—already just one shy of last year’s total.