Padres’ Bruce Bochy: Concerns about Peavy’s arm
SAN DIEGO (AP)—The San Diego Padres still don’t have a no-hitter after 5,919 games over 38 seasons.
Chris Young was the latest to try, taking a no-no into the eighth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Brad Hawpe. That was the only hit he allowed in eight innings as he led the Padres to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Hawpe doubled down the right-field line on Young’s first pitch of the eighth, his 99th of the night. Young (4-3) received an ovation from the crowd of 23,698.
“Really, I tried not to focus on it,” Young said of flirting with a no-hitter. “Obviously it was in the back of my mind. More importantly, I wanted to preserve the lead and make sure that we win the ballgame. I’d give up 15 hits to get a win.”
The only hit he gave up came on a first-pitch slider.
“Brad Hawpe’s a great hitter,” Young said. “He’s actually a buddy of mine. We grew up playing together back in Texas. They’ve got a great lineup. You don’t want to get wrapped up thinking about a no-hitter with an offensive team like that. They’re too good.”
Young said he and Hawpe played together in a summer league and against each other in high school.
Hawpe said he wasn’t thinking about the no-hitter, either.
“I was thinking about getting on since we were only down by two,” Hawpe said. “It was the only good pitch I saw from him all night. He wasn’t overpowering. But he threw four pitches well.”
Said losing pitcher Aaron Cook: “Tip your hat to Chris Young. He kept us off-balance all night.”
And, Cook added: “He’s huge.”
The 6-foot-10 Young matched his career high with eight strikeouts.
It was the 11th time a Padres pitcher took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy said he was disappointed when Hawpe’s hit fell in.
“We were hoping he could get it done,” Bochy said. “It’s tough. It’s so hard to throw a no-hitter. That one just stayed up and stayed in the zone and it was what, fair by five feet? But the important thing there is he settled down. A lot of times you have a letdown. You’re so caught up in the moment and you give up that hit. But he settled down and kept that run from scoring.”
Before Hawpe’s hit, the closest the Rockies came to getting a hit was when Todd Helton drove a ball into the gap in left-center that center fielder Mike Cameron caught about a foot from the fence for the first out of the seventh.
Cameron ran into the fence, but held onto the ball. Young watched the play, then exhaled.
“At that particular time it was a good play because you just don’t want to give Matt Holliday an opportunity to come up there, the way he’s been swinging the bat right now, with some people on base,” Cameron said. “The game was still tight. We’ve got to make plays behind these guys.”
“That gets pretty intense there when you’re getting that deep in the game and you haven’t given up a hit. But what a terrific job he did,” Bochy said.
Young had command of all four of his pitches, throwing them when and where he wanted.
“It just happened to be one of those nights where even when I made mistakes, they either fouled them off or even like Mike Cameron making an unbelievable defensive play,” Young said. “It was just one of those nights that things went my way.”
Trevor Hoffman came on and finished the combined two-hitter. He allowed a single to Helton before getting his 10th save in as many chances.
The Padres regained home-field advantage from the Rockies.
The Rockies won the previous four games between the teams at Petco Park this year, outscoring the Padres 37-12 and hitting 11 homers.
Colorado didn’t have a chance against Young, who was obtained in a six-player trade with Texas on Jan. 4. The right-hander retired the first 11 batters before walking Helton and Holliday. Garrett Atkins flied out to right to end that threat, and Young retired the next nine batters before Hawpe’s hit.
Young was coming off his shortest outing this season, when he lasted three innings in a 10-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He had only one win in his previous seven starts, and had gone seven innings only twice this year.
Cook (5-5) allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked none.
“It was a funny game,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “We were never in it but we were never out of it.”
San Diego remains one of four big league teams without a no-hitter. The others are Colorado, the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. … The last Padre to take a no-hitter into the eighth inning was Adam Eaton on July 3, 2004, against Kansas City. He was included in the trade for Young. … Hoffman has 446 career saves, 32 behind all-time leader Lee Smith.