Padres 3, Dodgers 2

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SAN DIEGO (AP)—After blowing save chances in consecutive appearances for the first time in a decade, Trevor Hoffman wasn’t about to run his streak to three.

Hoffman bounced back to close the door on the Los Angeles Dodgers, sealing a 3-2 win for Greg Maddux and the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

“It’s definitely nice to not sit any longer,” Hoffman said. “You kind of get right back out there before letting things like that fester too much.”

In the series opener 24 hours earlier—on Trevor Hoffman Night—baseball’s career saves leader disappointed a sellout crowd at Petco Park by allowing four runs in the ninth as the Dodgers rallied to stun the Padres 6-5.

On Wednesday night at Arizona, 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 pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven chances, and the 487th of his career. He, Maddux and Scott Linebrink combined on a six-hitter that took 2 hours, 4 minutes.

“You don’t want to screw up a future Hall of Famer’s win, that’s for sure,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said Friday night that he can’t dwell on blown saves.

“It’s easier said than done,” he said Saturday night after retiring Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez and Russell Martin on eight pitches. “Obviously it’s something that you’re going to replay over and over, and you try and see where you can make some better pitches. It’s just a matter of going out and trying to get it done.

“Biggest thing is, you’ve got to understand that you can’t change what happened. Just go out and trust your stuff.”

Manager Bud Black was glad Hoffman got another chance so soon.

“Right back on the horse. He did a great job,” Black said. “With Trev, I think the odds are always in his favor, because of his talent, obviously,” manager Bud Black said.

Maddux, meanwhile, settled down from a shaky beginning to retire his final 14 batters. He held Los Angeles to two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked one.

Maddux (2-2) pitched for the Dodgers the last two months of 2006, then signed as a free agent with San Diego. He earned his second win with the Padres and the 335th of his 20-year career.

He allowed two runs and five hits in the first three innings. After Jeff Kent doubled in Juan Pierre to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with one out in the third, Maddux kept the Dodgers off the base paths through the seventh inning.

“I was a little wild early. I ended up being a little wild late, too, but they kept hitting it right at people,” Maddux said. “You’ve got to keep going. I was fortunate to stay out of big innings early in the game. The guys came back.”

Gonzalez said he thought early on that the Dodgers could get to Maddux.

“But he settled down there and does what he does best—work fast and make you hit his pitch.”

Said Hoffman: “He’s looking for early contact, throwing strike one. Nobody does it better than he does as far as economics with his pitches.”

Pierre also doubled in the first and scored on Kent’s single.

Brett Tomko, who pitched for San Diego in 2002, retired the first 11 San Diego batters before the Padres finally broke through with four straight hits with two outs in the fourth.

Brian Giles and Adrian Gonzalez singled and scored on Khalil Greene’s double into the left-field corner. Greene scored on Mike Cameron’s single to center.

“Sometimes when games are quick like that, you get in a rhythm,” Tomko said. “Four hitters pieced together four hits, but it was the last two hits at the end that hurt.”

Tomko (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out one and walked none.

The right-hander also caught a wicked line drive by Marcus Giles that knocked the pitcher onto his back on the mound to end the fifth. Tomko sat up and said, “Wow.”

“I think if I didn’t catch it, I would have gotten it in the neck.” Giles and Tomko know each other. Giles walked out to see if Tomko was OK, and the pitcher jokingly threw the ball at him.

Notes

With his 803rd Padres appearance, Hoffman broke the big league record for appearances with a single club. He passed Walter Johnson (Washington Senators) and Roy Face (Pittsburgh Pirates), who each made 802 appearances. Hoffman made 28 appearances with Florida as a rookie in 1993 before being traded to San Diego. … Dodgers first base coach Mariano Duncan flew to the Dominican Republic after learning of the death of his father. Bench coach Dave Jauss filled in for Duncan. … Dodgers 3B Wilson Betemit was scratched due to an upset stomach. Wilson Valdez made the start there.

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