Maybin robs Kemp of HR, Padres top Dodgers 4-3
Maybin robbed Matt Kemp of a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning after Carlos Quentin put San Diego ahead with a sacrifice fly, and the Padres beat Los Angeles 4-3 Wednesday night after the teams had split a pair of 11-inning decisions.
Nick Vincent (2-0) retired all four batters he faced after relieving starter Clayton Richard with two outs in the fifth. Fellow rookie Brad Boxberger struck out Shane Victorino and walked Adrian Gonzalez to open the seventh, and Kemp followed with a long drive to center. Maybin timed his leap perfectly before pulling it down.
“When you get a chance to play in these parks, you get a chance to get acclimated to the dimensions and you start to get a gut feeling of where you are. So I had a really good feeling of where I was at,” Maybin said.
“It was a great read off the bat, and I did a good job of getting to a spot to get an opportunity to make a much easier play as opposed to a tougher one. I honestly didn’t think it was going to go out when it came off the bat, but fortunately I was blessed with long arms and a little bit of jumping ability.”
Rookie left-hander Tommy Layne, the seventh Padres pitcher, got the more conventional save by retiring Gonzalez on a one-hopper to second base after Luke Gregerson hit Victorino on the foot with an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth. It was Layne’s second save in two opportunities with All-Star closer Huston Street on the disabled list because of a strained left calf.
Layne is one of six current members of the Padres’ bullpen who have made their major league debuts this season, along with Vincent, Boxberger, Cory Burns, Casey Kelly and Miles Mikolas. Brad Brach and Dale Thayer also have rookie status, despite having pitched in the majors last season.
“Out of 10 guys in the `pen, we’ve got eight rookies,” manager Bud Black said. “The only guys with service time are Gregerson and Joe Thatcher. So the last three months, there’s been a little bit of a shuttle going back and forth between San Diego and Tucson. Tonight we saw Layne, Vincent and Boxberger do a good job. We’ve seen these guys grow before our eyes, and they’re part of our future.”
Richard had a 3-0 lead before he threw his first pitch. Everth Cabrera scored on Chase Headley’s double off the center-field fence, and Will Venable followed him home as the relay throw from shortstop Hanley Ramirez skipped past catcher A.J. Ellis for an error. Yasmani Grandal drove in Headley with an infield single to the right side.
Richard gave up singles to his first three batters in the second, including a run-scoring hit by Luis Cruz. The left-hander also yielded singles to his first three batters in the third, including a run-scoring hit by Gonzalez that trimmed San Diego’s lead to 3-2.
Victorino went to third on Gonzalez’s hit, then got caught in a rundown on Kemp’s grounder to first. Moments later, Richard wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam.
Richard was charged with three runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings in his fifth start against the Dodgers this season.
“They got 10 singles off him and had some guys on base, but Clayton did make some pitches to get out of some jams and he battled,” Black said. “That’s one of those agonizing decisions for a manager, to take one of your lead horses out in the middle of a game. But in a September situation, with a full bullpen, it was just one of those gut calls to take him out.”
Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson (1-1), who allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings over his previous four appearances, struck out the side on 15 pitches in the sixth after replacing starter Aaron Harang. But the rookie right-hander gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh to Venable, who stole second and scored on Quentin’s sacrifice fly after being held at third on Headley’s single.
The loss kept the Dodgers 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West, with a pivotal three-game series between the storied rivals starting Friday night in San Francisco. Los Angeles remained 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card.
“I think we all get frustrated when we lose games, but you can’t dwell on the past,” Kemp said. “We’ve got to turn the page because we’ve got a big series coming up. And every series is a must-win, so we’ve got to go out there and play every game like it’s our last one because you never know what can happen.”
NOTES: Headley needs six RBIs to join Ken Caminiti and Phil Nevin as the only third basemen in Padres history to drive in 100 or more runs in a season. … The Padres and OF Chris Denorfia agreed to a $4.25 million, two-year contract that runs through the 2014 season.