Young pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings to lead the San Diego Padres to a 6-1 win over the Boston Red Sox, and Khalil Greene homered twice off Wakefield and Josh Bard added a contested homer against his old team.
The Padres snapped a three-game losing streak and leapfrogged the Los Angeles Dodgers back into first place in the tight NL West, two percentage points in front of Arizona.
The Padres didn’t need any extra help the way Young was pitching. They got it anyway when two of Knight’s calls were overturned, including one that gave Bard a two-run homer and led to Boston manager Terry Francona being ejected.
With the Padres leading 3-0 with one out in the sixth and Mike Cameron aboard on a double, Bard drove the first pitch from Wakefield off the foul pole on the side of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner.
Bard hopped out of the batter’s box, then threw up his hands in disbelief when Knight ruled it a foul ball. Padres manager Bud Black came out to argue, the umps huddled and Bard was waved around the bases, giving the Padres a 5-0 lead. It was Bard’s third homer of the year.
Francona came out and spoke with crew chief Dana DeMuth, then vented on Knight and got tossed. It was Francona’s second ejection this season.
“I have a feeling they probably ended up getting both right,” Francona said. “But you get frustrated. … When umpires confer like that you actually appreciate it because some are going to be in your favor.”
Bard, coincidentally, is still facing a three-game suspension from his ejection at Pittsburgh on May 31 when he thought he’d homered only to have the umpires reverse the call after Pirates manager Jim Tracy successfully argued the drive struck a thin metal railing above the right-field wall and did not leave the park.
“They convened and got that one right, where we thought it was a home run,” said Black, who also was ejected that night in Pittsburgh. “I’ve seen this the last couple of years, the umpires convening and talking through it and coming up with a decision. I tip my cap to the umpires for a lot of times taking the ego out of a call and talking it through.”
DeMuth said Knight thought Bard’s shot hit on the foul side of the brick warehouse, and that the home plate and second base umpires had a better view.
Knight was working just his second series at Petco Park, filling in for vacationing Kerwin Danley. Knight has been a callup umpire for seven years.
Greene followed with a shot into the left-field seats to chase Wakefield. It was Greene’s 11th of the season and his sixth career two-homer game.
“I feel I pitched better than the numbers showed,” Wakefield said. “Every ball I made a mistake on, they hit hard. With the stuff I had, no way I give up six runs.”
Bard, a switch-hitter, decided to hit right-handed against Wakefield, also a righty.
“I’d only faced him one time, in ’02, and it was a time when I was swinging the bat pretty good left-handed and he really gave me a tough time, so I was thinking why not give it a shot right-handed and thankfully it worked out,” Bard said.
The umpires, he added, “worked hard to get the call right in Pittsburgh and they worked hard to get the call right here. And they got ‘em both right.”
In the fifth, Boston left fielder Manny Ramirez dove for Kevin Kouzmanoff’s sinking liner and Knight ruled it a catch. Black argued, the umps huddled and sent Kouzmanoff to first. Replays showed Ramirez trapped the ball. Kouzmanoff eventually scored on Marcus Giles’ double into the left-field corner.
Bard, traded from Boston to San Diego early in the 2006 season, finished with three RBIs.
Young (7-3) pitched brilliantly in his first start since being ejected after exchanging punches with Chicago’s Derrek Lee a week earlier at Wrigley Field. The 6-foot-10 right-hander dropped his home ERA to 0.94, the best in the majors, and struck out 11 to miss his career high by one. He dropped his overall ERA to 2.08.
The only hit Young allowed was J.D. Drew’s single in the fifth, and he walked only two.
Young has appealed his five-game suspension for his part in the melee in Chicago.
Mike Cameron, who came in 2-for-16 lifetime against Wakefield, led off the second by beating out a bunt for a single, stole second and scored when Bard doubled over Ramirez’s head.
Greene homered leading off the fifth, driving an 0-2 pitch into the seats in left-center. After Kouzmanoff was awarded first on the overturned call, he was sacrificed by Young and scored on Giles’ double into the left-field corner to make it 3-0.
Wakefield (7-8) allowed six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked none.