SAN DIEGO (AP)—This was a Petco Park special.
Finally, Marcus Giles singled in the game’s only run in the eighth inning and Trevor Hoffman moved within one save of becoming the first big leaguer with 500 for his career as the San Diego Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Tuesday night to re-claim first place in the NL West.
“We won another ballgame with less than three hits,” said Russell Branyan, who scored the winning run after getting hit on the foot with a pitch and getting into scoring position with a rare stolen base.
“There’s no better place to play in,” Branyan added. “Here, it’s refreshing to see a pitchers’ duel six out of seven nights.”
While the Padres’ pitching staff recorded its big league-best ninth shutout, the Padres won for the second time this season while getting just two hits at Petco Park. They also did it April 9, beating San Francisco 1-0.
“We’re definitely not going to live on two hits, I promise that,” Giles said. “Tonight you’ve got to tip your cap to the pitching performances on both sides. They were awesome. C.Y. just being C.Y. like we’re always used to, and Schmitty coming off the DL and putting up a pretty good performance.”
The Dodgers and Padres went 17 innings the last time they played, and this game easily could have gone extra innings.
But Branyan was hit in the foot by a pitch from Rudy Seanez (2-1) with one out in the eighth, stole second and scored on Giles’ hit to center.
Branyan’s 10th career stolen bases—in just more than six big league seasons—surprised everybody.
“Rudy was a little slower than the average pitcher, so I felt if I got a decent jump I could go,” Branyan said.
“Russ getting that stolen base was huge,” Giles said. “He surprised me. “I was sitting there wondering if I missed a hit-and-run or something, but I found out I didn’t miss anything, so that’s good.”
San Diego is percentage points ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the Dodgers a half-game back.
The Padres won for the eighth time in 10 games. It was just their third victory in seven games this season against their biggest rival. The Padres and Dodgers tied at 88-74 last year, with the Padres claiming the division title because they won the season series against Los Angeles.
Scott Linebrink (2-1) allowed a single in the scoreless eighth. Hoffman pitched the ninth to get his 17th save in 19 chances.
Schmidt looked sharp in his return from an injury layoff of more than seven weeks as he dueled Young.
Schmidt, sidelined since mid-April with bursitis in his right shoulder, held the Padres to one hit in six scoreless innings and retired 13 of his last 14 batters. Schmidt, in the high 80s and low 90s with his fastball, struck out four and walked three.
“Very optimistic,” manager Grady Little said. “Very good outing for him.”
Said Schmidt: “I was happy just to be out there.”
Schmidt’s last start was on April 14 against San Diego, when he left after two-plus innings after retiring only six of the 16 batters he faced in a 7-2 loss. He went on the disabled list three days later, with a 1-2 record and a 7.36 ERA.
“I was more free and easy,” Schmidt said. “I didn’t have to put as much effort into it as I did before.”
Young lowered his ERA to 2.19, allowing three singles in seven shutout innings, striking out five and walking four.
Two of the Dodgers’ hits came in the seventh, but L.A. couldn’t score. Russell Martin hit a leadoff single to center, then tripped rounding second on Tony Abreu’s one-out single to right and was caught in a rundown. Wilson Betemit walked while pinch-hitting for Schmidt, and Juan Pierre grounded out to first to end the inning.
Dodgers closer Takashi Saito is likely to miss the entire series due to a strained hamstring. … The Dodgers’ charter had a hard landing at Lindbergh Field early Tuesday after a flight from Pittsburgh. Little said he heard the flaps weren’t working. “We hit the ground running,” Little said. “I think we were well up over 200 mph when we hit the ground. It was a little bit more of an abrupt stop. There was stuff in the front of the plane that started out in the back of the plane.” … Padres SS Khalil Greene was a late scratch because of a sore arm. … With the bases loaded and two outs in the second, Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal made a nice diving stop of Young’s grounder, got up, spun around and threw him out to end the inning. … Furcal was retired leading off the ninth when Padres 2B Giles made a diving stop of his grounder and threw him out.