There is a new milestone in baseball - 500 saves.
Trevor Hoffman became the first big leaguer to reach that mark when he got a save in the San Diego Padres' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Hoffman set the career record with his 479th save on Sept. 28 against Pittsburgh, breaking Lee Smith's old mark of 478. Hoffman finished the 2006 season with 482.
While noting that 500 is only 22 more than Smith's old record, Hoffman said: ``It's special in its own right. I think it's like trying to compare your kids to one another. They're special in their own way.''
Hoffman was able to sneak an 87 mph fastball - rather than his trademark changeup - past Russell Martin for the final out. His teammates surrounded him and patted him on the head before David Wells and Heath Bell lifted the bullpen ace onto their shoulders and carried him off the field.
Once inside the clubhouse, the Padres toasted their popular closer with champagne.
``It's a special moment from an individual standpoint to be at a number that looks a little bit different than some of the other guys that have accrued a lot of saves,'' said Hoffman, who's always downplayed his accomplishments. ``But our focus is definitely on winning a division and moving deep into the postseason and winning a championship.''
He's only blown 58 saves in his entire career, converting 90 percent of his chances.
In other NL games Tuesday night, it was: Arizona 1, San Francisco 0; Colorado 8, Houston 7; Chicago 6, Milwaukee 2; Florida 7, Atlanta 4; Philadelphia 4, New York 2; St. Louis 6, Cincinnati 4; and Washington 6, Pittsburgh 5.
Greg Maddux (5-3) has won five straight home starts following his loss to Colorado in the home opener on April 6. He held Los Angeles to two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings, walked one and had no strikeouts. It was his 338th career win.
Maddux has won four straight starts against the Dodgers to improve to 15-7 lifetime against them. He was obtained by the Dodgers in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 31, then signed as a free agent with San Diego on Dec. 13.
The Padres chased Randy Wolf (7-4) after five innings, handing him his first loss since April 30.
Diamondbacks 1, Giants 0
Chris Young broke a scoreless tie with a home run to center field leading off the seventh inning, lifting the surging Diamondbacks over the visiting Giants - a night after his game-ending shot in the 10th for Arizona.
Brandon Webb (6-3) matched his season high with four walks but still pitched a gem to win his third straight start. Arizona won for the 11th time in 12 games overall.
Webb struck out six of the first 13 batters he faced through three innings, while San Francisco starter Matt Morris (6-3) had five Ks in that same span.
Rockies 8, Astros 7
Brad Hawpe had a two-run tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning to help host Colorado beat Houston.
Taylor Buchholz (3-3) worked a scoreless seventh inning for the win. Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances despite giving up a solo homer to pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg.
Woody Williams (2-8) allowed six runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings.
Cubs 6, Brewers 2
Carlos Zambrano (6-5) controlled his temper and his pitches, and host Chicago overcame Prince Fielder's 21st home run.
Felix Pie, in his second stint with Chicago, hit a three-run homer in the second inning as the Cubs roughed up Jeff Suppan (7-6).
Marlins 7, Braves 4
Aaron Boone homered again, hitting a two-run shot, and Florida held off host Atlanta.
Florida took three of four in the series, costing the Braves a chance to climb closer to first-place New York in the NL East. Atlanta has lost four of five.
The Marlins jumped on Kyle Davies (3-4) right away.
Justin Miller (1-0) worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the win, which gave Florida only its second series victory in Atlanta since 2002.
Phillies 4, Mets 2
Jimmy Rollins hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning, rallying Adam Eaton and Philadelphia to a win at New York.
Carlos Beltran homered for the Mets, who lost their season-high third straight and fourth in five games. They also lost another outfielder to injury when Endy Chavez hurt his hamstring while grounding into a crucial double play.
After failing to score in six innings against starter Orlando Hernandez, the Phillies got going against Aaron Heilman (5-3) in the seventh.
Eaton (6-4) improved to 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts against the Mets. Antonio Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his third save and second in two nights.
Cardinals 6, Reds 4
Albert Pujols' two-run homer snapped a seventh-inning tie, helping surging St. Louis beat visiting Cincinnati.
The Cardinals have won six of seven and pulled five games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. This is the closest the defending World Series champions have been to first place since April 29, the day before reliever Josh Hancock died in an auto accident. They were 10 games back on May 21.
Tyler Johnson (1-0) worked a scoreless seventh and Jason Isringhausen got the last three outs for his 14th save.
Bronson Arroyo (2-7) gave up six runs in 6 2-3 innings.
Nationals 6, Pirates 5
Cristian Guzman scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch by Salomon Torres and host Washington ended a three-game skid.
Guzman started the decisive rally with a one-out single off Torres (0-3) in the ninth inning and Ryan Zimmerman hit a broken-bat infield single to third. One out later, Austin Kearns walked to load the bases before Torres bounced a 1-1 pitch at Ryan Church's right foot, with the ball scooting away.
Chad Cordero (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the victory.

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