Dodgers 6, Padres 5
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Well “Hells Bells,” look who was gonged on his special night.
About three hours after being honored for being baseball’s career saves leader, Trevor Hoffman disappointed a sellout crowd at Petco Park by giving up four runs in the ninth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to stun the San Diego Padres 6-5 on Friday.
It was the first time Hoffman (1-2) blew save chances in consecutive appearances since April 26 and April 29, 1997.
On Wednesday night, Hoffman gave up Stephen Drew’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth that gave Arizona a 3-2 victory. That wasted a gem by ace Jake Peavy, who matched his club record with 16 strikeouts.
Hoffman said he can’t dwell on the back-to-back blown saves.
“The frustrating part is obviously the blown save, but you’re in a situation where you’ve got to keep the game tied and give your team the chance to take the lead in the bottom half of that inning,” Hoffman said. “It’s twofold. It’s a blown save, but it’s also a loss.”
The comeback was big for Garciaparra and the Dodgers, who appeared headed for their fifth straight loss.
“You’re down and you see him come in the game, it’s easy to put your head down and say, ‘This is over,”’ Garciaparra said.
The game featured several of the key players from an improbable Dodgers rally on Sept. 18, when they hit four straight home runs—two off Hoffman—in the ninth inning to tie the score before Garciaparra hit a two-run shot in the 10th to win 11-10.
Hoffman was honored before the game for setting the career saves record late last season. Among those on hand for the ceremony was Lee Smith, who owned the old record of 478. Hoffman was trying for career save No. 487.
Shortly after Hoffman jogged in from the bullpen accompanied by AC/DC’s screeching “Hells Bells,” the Dodgers started the winning rally when pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson hit a leadoff single to center. Anderson hit the fourth of the consecutive homers on Sept. 18.
Rafael Furcal bunted down the first-base line and Adrian Gonzalez turned to throw to second, then decided to try to get Furcal, but reached the bag too late. Hoffman went to the bag anticipating a throw and got tangled with Furcal.
“Gonzo plays a very aggressive first base,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “I think he looked at second and realized it wasn’t going to be there, and with the speed of Furcal, he wasn’t able to get back. He hesitated for a moment.”
After Juan Pierre sacrificed, Garciaparra doubled to left-center on a changeup, giving Hoffman his second blown save in six chances this year.
Garciaparra “showed a lot of patience in that at-bat,” Hoffman said. “More so than they’ve shown in other at-bats against us this year.”
Black didn’t want to take a chance by pitching to Luis Gonzalez.
“Let’s go with the guy that hasn’t seen much of Trev,” Black said.
“I take it a little personally,” Martin said. “I got psyched up. We kind of ruined his day a little bit. It was a tough day for him, I guess.”
Rudy Seanez (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth. While pitching for the Padres in the Sept. 18 thriller, Seanez allowed Garciaparra’s game-winning shot.
Josh Bard had three hits for the Padres.
The Padres broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth when three of their first four batters reached and scored against reliever Chad Billingsley.
The Dodgers pulled to 4-2 with one out in the seventh when Pierre singled in Furcal to chase starter Clay Hensley. Los Angeles had runners on second and third before reliever Cla Meredith struck out Jeff Kent and got Luis Gonzalez to ground out to end the inning.
Hensley gave up two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked four.
Garciaparra is 12-for-18 with runners in scoring position, the best mark in the majors. … The public address system at Petco Park blew out right about first pitch, and the rare silence lasted until the middle of the fifth inning. … To make room for Bard, INF Russell Branyan was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his father-in-law. … Hoffman was presented with a gold-plated pitching rubber from Petco Park’s bullpen. Hoffman’s three young sons threw out ceremonial pitches. Catching them were Hoffman; his brother, Glenn, the Padres’ third-base coach; and 2B Marcus Giles.