“I missed the sign, it was my fault,” Olivo said. “I saw the runner coming and it was too late to bunt so I gave a swing at it.
“It worked out for the best.”
Instead of squaring to bunt as Mark Loretta broke for home from third, Olivo tripled to deep center in the sixth inning to break the game’s final tie and lead the Padres to a 4-2 victory over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy gladly accepted Olivo’s mistake.
“Sometimes you’re better off missing a sign,” Bochy said. “You hit a triple and get another run in.”
Brian Lawrence (7-12) allowed six hits and a run in five innings for San Diego, escaping a two-on, no-out jam in his last inning.
Luis Castillo of the Marlins led off the fifth with a single and advanced to third on Miguel Cabrera’s hit-and-run single. Lawrence got out of the jam by striking out Carlos Delgado and then getting Juan Encarnacion on a groundout and Paul Lo Duca on a pop up.
“There’s no relaxing with their lineup,” Lawrence said. “I was glad we were able to take it to a win.”
The Padres trailed 1-0 when Justin Vargas walked Brian Giles to lead off the sixth. He advanced to third on Loretta’s double and scored on Xavier Nady’s groundout. After Olivo’s triple put the Padres ahead, he scored on pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney’s single.
Paul Quantrill, Scott Linebrink and Akinori Otsuka each pitched one scoreless inning for San Diego. Trevor Hoffman earned his 31st save despite giving up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Jeff Conine in the ninth.
“We don’t do anything easy - it was a little scary in the ninth,” Bochy said
Hoffman’s save was the 424th of his career, tying him with John Franco for second on the all-time list. Lee Smith is the career leader with 478.
“I think it is congratulations this time—anytime you have an opportunity to share a record with John Franco,” Hoffman said. “He’s a guy that I respect.”
Vargas (3-1) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings, striking out a career-high seven. But he also walked five, none more crucial than allowing Giles to reach base starting the sixth.
“We don’t have the walk to Giles and that keeps us in the game,” Vargas said. “It snowballed with Loretta hitting the double.”
Giles made it 4-1 in the ninth when he was walked by Guillermo Mota with the bases loaded.
Before Giles’ walk, Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell, who fooled the Arizona Diamondbacks into an out on a hidden ball trick last week, deliberately dropped Eric Young’s line drive hoping to create a force at home and a possible double play at first. But home plate home umpire Jerry Meals called Young out.
“That’s the type of mental review you have when playing defense,” Lowell said. “I was hoping to sell it a little better. I have a no-lose proposition.”
Encarnacion gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first. But the Marlins were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position after that.
“We can’t keep letting good pitching performances get away,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.
Said Lowell, “We had a chance to keep it away from a one-run game and we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”
Castillo was removed after favoring his left hamstring when he rounded second on Cabrera’s single in the fifth. Castillo said he didn’t expect to play Wednesday. … The Marlins have scored first in 22 of their last 27 games. … Lawrence has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 starts. … Sweeney is 15-for-49 as a pinch hitter this season. … Shortstop Wilson Valdez went 0-for-2 in his first game after being called up by the Padres from Triple-A Portland on Sunday. Valdez started in place of Khalil Greene, who was placed on the disabled list after breaking a toe.