It turned out that it didn't hurt that much.Nick Hundley hit yet another triple and scored on Will Venable's bases-loaded single with no outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Padres a 4-3 win on Sunday and a four-game sweep of the Florida Marlins.
Bell Blows Save on Hoffman's Day
Ironically, Heath Bell blew the save against the Marlins on the day the Padres retired career saves leader Trevor Hoffman's number. The game-tying homer was hit by former Padre Mike Cameron.
Most Saves, Padres History
"I guess it's one of those things, on Trevor Hoffman day, only he should get the save, I guess," said Bell, who became the Padres' closer in 2009 after Hoffman left the Padres as a free agent and signed with Milwaukee.Hoffman retired in January as baseball's all-time saves leader with 601. On Sunday, he became the fifth Padres player to have his number retired."The biggest thing is we won the game," Bell said. "The thing Trevor was talking about is it's always a team sport. The team went out there and won the game; picked each other up when we needed to and got a win. That's really what matters."The Padres swept the seven-game season series. Overall, San Diego has won eight straight against the Marlins.Bell (3-4) was one out away from a four-out save when he allowed Mike Cameron's solo homer with two outs in the ninth. Bell then loaded the bases on a single, double and intentional walk before striking out John Buck.Cameron, a former Padres player, homered into the balcony on the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner. It was his fourth."It was frustrating when I blew the save, but you've got to give your team a chance to win. If I can only give up one run, all we need was one run in the bottom of the ninth like we did."Hundley started the winning rally against Edward Mujica (8-5) in the bottom of the inning when his triple caromed off the center field wall. It was the fourth triple in the last six games for Hundley, the Padres' catcher. The Marlins then intentionally walked Logan Forsythe and Alberto Gonzalez before Mike Dunn relieved Mujica. The Marlins deployed a five-man infield, with center fielder Cameron playing just to the right of second base. It didn't help, though, as Venable lofted a single over the head of right fielder Mike Stanton.Former big league catcher Brad Ausmus, now working in San Diego's front office, walked by Hundley's locker and jokingly called him "the world's fastest catcher.""Don't get used to it," Hundley replied.With five triples this season, Hundley tied the club record for a catcher set by Benito Santiago in 1990."I'm kind of at a loss for words on that one," Hundley said. "It's pretty cool to be tied with him. Hopefully I'll sneak one more out."Hundley thought it was out. "It needed another foot. Fortunately, Will got the job done."San Diego, which moved past Los Angeles into fourth in the NL West, has won six of eight. The Marlins, last in the NL East, have dropped 15 of 17. The Marlins were swept in a four-game series for the fourth time this season, a club record.Cory Luebke struck out eight in six innings for the Padres.The Padres handed Luebke a 3-0 lead in the first. Venable homered to right on a 2-0 pitch from Anibal Sanchez. It was his fifth of the season and third leadoff homer of his career. Cameron Maybin walked with one out, Orlando Hudson doubled with two outs and both scored on Kyle Blanks' double to left-center."We just cannot afford to give up three runs in the first inning," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "It's not going to work. There is no margin for error."Stanton hit his 30th homer, a solo shot with two outs in the fourth. Stanton had homered in four straight games coming into this series. John Buck hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to score Greg Dobbs, who reached on a pinch-hit single and advanced on two wild pitches by Luke Gregerson.Luebke held the Marlins to one run and three hits in six innings. He walked none.Sanchez allowed three runs and six hits in five innings, struck out three and walked two.Cameron wasn't able to enjoy his homer for long."The ball was traveling," he said. "The rest is pretty much the same old story. We found ways to lose the ballgame."
Luebke has struck out eight or more batters in three of his last four starts. ... The Marlins lead the majors in most first-inning runs allowed with 101. They allowed 20 first-inning runs during the season series against the Padres, and 11 in this four-game series. ... After a day off, Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 4.25 ERA) will open a three-game homestand needing just one strikeout to become the club's career strikeout leader. He will be opposed by Cincinnati right-hander Johnny Cueto (9-5, 1.89). ... Righty Mat Latos (6-12, 3.83) will start the Padres' eight-game road trip Tuesday night at San Francisco against Giants right-hander Matt Cain (10-9, 2,86).