Padres 1, Marlins 0
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Chris Young did his final lobbying for an All-Star berth, even if he didn’t get the decision.
Young, left off the NL All-Star team when it was announced Sunday, struck out nine without a walk, holding Florida to five hits in seven innings in helping the San Diego Padres beat the Florida Marlins 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Mike Cameron scored on an error by catcher Miguel Olivo with no outs in the ninth, yet another different way the Padres found to win at Petco Park. San Diego got its major league-leading 12th shutout despite going just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranding nine baserunners.
Young, who has an 8-3 record, was leading the balloting in online voting for the final spot on the NL squad. Voting ends Thursday evening.
The 6-foot-10 right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.00, tying Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best in the majors. Penny and Padres ace Jake Peavy are the candidates to start for the NL in Tuesday night’s game at San Francisco.
“I’m not into statements,” Young said. “There was no extra meaning or anything like that behind it. I just wanted us to win a game and stay in this race.”
However, the Padres’ organization has been heavily promoting the online voting.
“That’s maybe more meaningful than being selected on the original team,” Young said.
Manager Bud Black said Young stated his case.
“He put an exclamation point on his first half,” Black said.
It was Young’s final start before the break, and said he’s “more than likely” going to drop the appeal of his five-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl during a game against the Chicago Cubs on June 16. That way, he could serve four games before the break and then the first game back.
“I think that’s the way things are headed right now,” said Young, who will make a final decision after talking with the front office and the players’ association.
Cameron opened the ninth with a double to left off Matt Lindstrom (1-3). After Khalil Greene was intentionally walked, Hiram Bocachica bunted down the third-base line and Cameron beat Olivo’s throw to third.
Olivo, who was with the Padres in 2005, said he was thinking about turning a double play.
“That was the play. I tried to throw too quickly and I missed the ball,” he said.
On Bocachica’s bunt that advanced Cameron, “That’s the winning run right there,” Olivo said. “I have to throw it to third base. He beat the throw.”
Heath Bell (2-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Florida starter Josh Johnson left after five innings because of a stiff forearm, then was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Making just his fourth start after missing the first 2 1/2 months of the season while recovering from an irritated ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow, Johnson said he felt the tightness while throwing warmup pitches before the sixth inning.
“It didn’t get better,” he said. “It was tight. I guess better safe than sorry.”
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the coaching staff “saw him start fidgeting with his arm to get it loose. We went out and asked him and he said, ‘It’s tightened up.’ So that was all we needed to get him out of there.”
Johnson held San Diego to four hits while striking out three in five scoreless innings. He came in with a 10.97 ERA.
Johnson was activated from the disabled list on June 18.
“I really can’t put into words how I feel,” Johnson said. “I finally got back to where I wanted to and something bad happens.”
Young stranded three runners in scoring position through five innings, including Alfredo Amezaga, who opened the game with a triple. Young then retired the side, including getting his first two strikeouts.
“I was just able to limit the damage and we found a way to win. That’s all that matters,” Young said.
“I think what’s indicative of Chris is the first-inning leadoff triple and then bows his neck against the heart of their lineup, leaves Amezaga at third,” Black said.
San Diego had three chances to score for Young.
Greene and Josh Bard singled opening the fifth, only to be stranded when Johnson struck out Kouzmanoff and retired Jose Cruz Jr. and Young. Marcus Giles doubled to left with one out in the sixth before Renyel Pinto retired the next two batters.
With Young still the pitcher of record for the Padres, Bard tripled for the second time in his career with one out in the seventh off Justin Miller and was replaced by pinch-runner Hiram Bocachica. Miller then struck out Kouzmanoff and Cruz.
The Padres broke out their desert camouflage jerseys for July 4. … 2B umpire Hunter Wendelstedt returned home due to a family emergency, leaving three umpires to call the game. … Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez missed his second straight start due to a tweaked left hamstring. He fouled out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. On Tuesday night, Ramirez had a pinch-hit two-run homer that highlighted a four-run seventh inning that helped the Marlins beat the Padres 6-4.