Padres 2, Brewers 1
Ojeda’s pinch-hit double with two outs in the ninth scored Geoff Blum from first and the Padres beat Milwaukee 2-1 on Monday night, their 21st win in May.
The Padres mobbed Ojeda at second base. Once in the clubhouse, they showered him with beer and played his favorite song from back home in Mexico, “Alla En El Rancho Grande” by his friend, El Coyote.
“I wish this happened more often. It’s the best feeling in baseball,” said Ojeda, the backup catcher.
“It’s all about work,” said Ojeda, who was pinch-hitting for reliever Scott Linebrink. “I get here early and do my work in the cage and work on situations. It’s all about being ready and mentally prepared for that situation. All I can do is keep working hard and take my best chances every time that I get it.”
Blum singled to center with two outs and scored from first on Ojeda’s double into the left-field corner off Jorge De La Rosa (2-1). Blum slid in ahead of the relay throw from Junior Spivey to catcher Chad Moeller.
The Padres extended their lead in the NL West to a season-high three games over idle Arizona. The Padres won their fifth straight game overall and tied the franchise record with their 10th straight win at home.
San Diego improved to 21-6 in May, extending the franchise record for most wins in a month.
“Everybody wants to succeed, everybody wants to win,” Blum said. “Of course, everybody on this ballclub wants to be the one who wins the ballgame tonight, and Miguel Ojeda did.”
Said manager Bruce Bochy: “That’s great for ‘O.’ He hadn’t been getting a lot of playing time, and it’s always great when you do something like that. It’s a euphoric feeling that you don’t forget when you get a big hit like that.”
Scott Linebrink (2-1) allowed one hit in two innings for the win.
Although Brewers right fielder Geoff Jenkins made several spectacular catches, other Brewers made mistakes.
Jeff Cirillo ran himself out of a scoring chance after reaching third with no outs in the ninth. Cirillo started to break toward home on Bill Hall’s grounder to shortstop but stopped, and was far enough off the bag that Khalil Greene threw him out.
In the fourth, Wes Helms tripled off the center-field wall with one out, but he was tagged out by Hernandez at the plate on a botched squeeze attempt by pitcher Victor Santos. Santos squared to bunt but missed, hanging Helms out to dry.
“He just missed it,” manager Ned Yost said. “There are times that you are going to have to help yourself win. When you play against a team of that caliber, you can’t afford to make mistakes.”
San Diego’s Phil Nevin popped up to shortstop to end the seventh inning with the bases loaded and the score tied at 1.
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the third on Lyle Overbay’s RBI single with two outs. That brought in Spivey, who singled past a diving Greene at shortstop with one out and advanced on Carlos Lee’s walk.
Overbay helped give back the run in the fifth with some shaky play at first base.
Pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Dave Roberts. Blum hit a grounder that bounced off Overbay’s glove for an error, moving Sweeney to third. Sweeney scored on Ryan Klesko’s grounder down the first-base line that ate up Overbay, keeping him from making the play at home. He tagged out Klesko as Sweeney scored an unearned run.
Neither starter got a decision. Santos left after six innings, allowing four hits and an unearned run while striking out three and walking four. San Diego’s Darrell May got his fourth straight no-decision, allowing one run and four hits in five innings while striking out four and walking three.
San Diego is 17-4 at home and 13-4 in one-run games, both major league bests. … The Padres’ club-record 101 consecutive innings without an error ended in the ninth on Jackson’s miscue. … Helms made just his eighth start of the season. … Padres 3B Sean Burroughs missed his fifth straight start with a strained left quadriceps.
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