SAN DIEGO (AP)—Greg Maddux put it in perspective as only a 23-year veteran could.
He pitched seven strong innings Friday night but didn’t get the decision in San Diego’s 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
That makes him 0-2 with six no-decisions since beating the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on May 10 to become the ninth pitcher in major league history with 350 victories.
“Hang with it. Glad we won. Hey, no one feels sorry for you in this game,” Maddux said. “Do it again in five days. Maybe you’ll get one then.”
The 42-year-old Maddux left with a 2-1 lead, thanks to home runs by prized prospect Chase Headley—who has hit two in four games since he was called up— and Khalil Greene. But the Tigers tied it when Heath Bell (5-3) allowed Placido Polanco’s homer with two outs in the eighth.
The Padres rallied for four runs against four relievers in the eighth, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting a single with the bases loaded to score the go-ahead run. The Padres were coming off a dismal 1-5 trip to Cleveland and the New York Yankees.
It was the seventh straight start in which Maddux allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Manager Bud Black, a former big league pitcher, said he has empathy for Maddux. But Black also knows that Maddux puts the team first.
“Hey, listen, I think Mad Dog, he likes to play every fifth day, and that’s what he’s doing,” Black said. “We won the game, which is sort of a testament to him, which he wants to accomplish. He knows that he did his part to help us win the game.
“It’s nice to get a win, but he likes to pitch. His being now is still going out there and playing. That’s awesome.”
The Tigers lost for the second time in 10 games.
San Diego rallied in the bottom of the inning when Fernando Rodney (0-1), pitching for just the second time this season, walked Jody Gerut and Edgar Gonzalez, Adrian’s older brother. Casey Fossum came on and walked Brian Giles to load the bases before Adrian Gonzalez singled to right to bring in Gerut. Edgar Gonzalez, who had three hits, scored on a fielding error by right fielder Magglio Ordonez.
Headley singled to chase Fossum and bring on Joel Zumaya, a San Diego-area native who was making his season debut after recovering from shoulder surgery. Zumaya promptly gave up a two-run single to Scott Hairston.
“My job is to throw strikes and I didn’t do that,” Rodney said. “I didn’t do my job and it cost us.”
Rodney had been sidelined from the end of spring training until Monday with tendinitis in his right shoulder. Manager Jim Leyland said Rodney is fine physically but has to throw strikes.
“You have to throw the ball over the plate up here,” Leyland said. “We walked the first three guys in the eighth inning. You can’t do that and win a ballgame up here. That’s impossible. That’s not going to happen.”
Maddux was facing the Tigers for the third time in his 23-year big league career. Detroit is one of seven major league teams Maddux hasn’t beaten.
Detroit’s Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff homer to the deepest part of Petco Park and finished with three hits. His homer to right-center was estimated at 428 feet and sent fans scrambling for the ball in the sand play area beyond the fence. It was his ninth homer this season and his third as a leadoff hitter.
“He got me,” Maddux said. “It wasn’t that bad of a pitch. He got me two more times after that.”
Headley tied it with his homer to straightaway center field with one out in the fourth off Eddie Bonine, who was making his second big league start. Headley’s first career homer came Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Greene gave the Padres a 2-1 lead when he homered into the seats in left field with one out in the seventh.
Bonine also went seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits, with three strikeouts and two walks.
Padres RHP Chris Young is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday. It will be the first time he’s been on a mound since May 21, when he sustained a broken nose and small skull fracture when he was by a line drive by Albert Pujols. Young said he’ll have surgery on June 30 to repair his septum and some small broken bones in his nose. He said the skull fracture is healing. “Hopefully the worst is behind me and get this fixed, set me back for a few more days, then get on my way,” he said. … An MRI showed that Padres 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff has an irritated disc in his lower back. He missed his fourth straight game, with Headley starting in his place. Kouzmanoff is feeling better and might take some swings in the inside batting cage on Saturday, Black said. … Giles had an MRI on his left shoulder but was in the lineup. Giles left after tweaking his foot on the basepaths in the eighth. His replacement, Paul McAnulty, made a spectacular play to end the game, catching Marcus Thames’ foul ball and then tumbling over the short wall down the right field line. He was OK.