|Hoffman blows save on special night; Bonds walked three times in loss|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 27 April 2007 23:32|
About three hours after he was honored for being baseball's career saves leader, Hoffman disappointed a sellout crowd at Petco Park by giving up four runs in the ninth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to stun the San Diego Padres 6-5 on Friday night.
``We kind of ruined his day a little bit,'' Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said.
Nomar Garciaparra's fourth hit, a two-run double, tied the game at 4 with one out, and Martin's two-run double with two outs handed Hoffman his second loss in two appearances. It was the first time Hoffman (1-2) blew save chances in consecutive appearances since April 26 and April 29, 1997.
On Wednesday night, Hoffman gave up Stephen Drew's two-out, two-run homer in the ninth that gave Arizona a 3-2 victory. That wasted a gem by Padres ace Jake Peavy, who matched his club record with 16 strikeouts.
``The frustrating part is obviously the blown save, but you're in a situation where you've got to keep the game tied and give your team the chance to take the lead in the bottom half of that inning,'' Hoffman said. ``It's twofold. It's a blown save, but it's also a loss.''
Bonds might have been frustrated, too.
Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin ordered the slugger walked intentionally three times with runners in scoring position, including in the ninth inning. The strategy worked for host Arizona in a 3-2 victory that snapped San Francisco's eight-game winning streak.
Melvin decided to make the Giants' No. 5 hitter, Ray Durham, try to beat him. After the intentional walks to Bonds, Durham grounded out, struck out and grounded out again - the last time with the potential go-ahead run aboard in the ninth.
``Believe me, Ray Durham scares the heck out of me, especially that last time up,'' Melvin said. ``But we had to do it. If we need to again, we will.''
In other NL games, it was: Chicago 5, St. Louis 3; Atlanta 9, Colorado 7; Philadelphia 6, Florida 5; Milwaukee 4, Houston 1; Washington 4, New York 3; and Pittsburgh 3, Cincinnati 1.
The only time the Diamondbacks pitched to Bonds - with the bases empty and a two-run lead - he singled to start the eighth. Melvin said he didn't hesitate to put Bonds on in the ninth even though he represented the potential go-ahead run. Durham then grounded against Jose Valverde to end the game
``The last one's probably the easiest of them,'' Melvin said. ``Early in a game, a lot of times you don't want to put too many guys on base. But that game just had the feeling like it was going to be a low-scoring game.''
The Diamondbacks won their third straight after dropping seven of eight. Valverde earned his ninth save in 10 chances.
Drew's two-run double in the sixth provided the go-ahead runs for Doug Davis (2-2), who allowed one run in seven innings. Barry Zito (2-3) also went seven innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
At San Diego, Hoffman was honored before the game for setting the career saves record late last season. He was presented with a gold-plated pitching rubber from Petco Park's bullpen, and his three young sons threw out ceremonial pitches.
Among those on hand for the celebration was Lee Smith, who owned the old saves record of 478. Hoffman was trying for No. 487.
``You're down and you see him come in the game, it's easy to put your head down and say, 'This is over,''' said Garciaparra, who is 12-for-18 with runners in scoring position - the best mark in the majors.
Rudy Seanez (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Takashi Saito worked the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances. He gave up a solo homer to Jose Cruz Jr. before retiring Adrian Gonzalez with a runner on to end it.
Phillies 6, Marlins 5
At Philadelphia, Tom Gordon (1-1) blew another save for the Phillies. This time, the offense bailed him out.
Carlos Ruiz's infield single with the bases loaded in the ninth gave Philadelphia (10-12) its sixth victory in seven games. Jimmy Rollins' NL-leading ninth homer tied the score in the eighth and Chase Utley connected one batter later to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead. Aaron Rowand was 4-for-5 with a homer, extending his career-best hitting streak to 15 games.
Cubs 5, Cardinals 3
At St. Louis, Jason Marquis (3-1) beat his former team for the second straight time and Felix Pie hit his first career home run. Pie and Aramis Ramirez hit two-run homers off Anthony Reyes (0-4) in the fourth for the Cubs, who have won consecutive games for the first time since April 6-7. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano threw out two runners, one at the plate.
Brewers 4, Astros 1
J.J. Hardy's two-run double off Roy Oswalt (3-2) capped a three-run seventh inning, and visiting Milwaukee handed Houston its seventh consecutive loss. Johnny Estrada homered to help the first-place Brewers win for the seventh time in nine games. Chris Capuano (4-0) won his fourth straight start.
Braves 9, Rockies 7
Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer and visiting Atlanta scored eight runs with two outs to back Chuck James (3-2). Edgar Renteria had four singles, Chipper Jones drove in two runs and the Braves finished with a season-high 17 hits.
Garrett Atkins hit a three-run double off Bob Wickman in the ninth, but Peter Moylan retired Matt Holliday for his first career save. Jeff Francoeur made a nice running catch in right for the final out. Jeff Francis (1-3) took the loss.
Nationals 4, Mets 3
At Washington, Austin Kearns hit a three-run homer off Oliver Perez (2-2), the first time the Nationals scored in the first inning this year. Matt Chico (2-2) earned his second major league win and Chad Cordero got his third save.
Pirates 3, Reds 1
At Pittsburgh, Ian Snell (2-1) pitched seven shutout innings and Jason Bay hit a two-run double in the first off Eric Milton (0-4). The Pirates (11-10) matched their longest winning streak of last season at five games.
Salomon Torres allowed a homer to Adam Dunn in the ninth but finished for his seventh save in 10 chances. Cincinnati has lost three straight and seven of nine.