By the end of the night, he didn't even have a win.
Eaton took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning Saturday night
before the Kansas City Royals rallied for four runs to tie the
Khalil Greene's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth sent
San Diego to a 5-4 victory -- but that was too late for Eaton.
"I am a little disappointed, but at the same time it's about
team wins," he said. "I was aware of the situation since the
third inning. I was just trying to enjoy it."
Eaton, trying for the first no-hitter in Padres history, held
Kansas City hitless until Dee Brown doubled off the left-field
fence leading off the eighth.
Ruben Mateo doubled in Brown, and manager Bruce Bochy came out
to pull Eaton, who looked disappointed. He doffed his cap to the
crowd as he walked to the dugout.
"What a great game. It was a shame he didn't get a win out of
that," Bochy said. "That's as good as stuff as I think we have
had all year."
Eaton struck out 10 and walked only one in seven-plus innings.
He allowed two runs and two hits.
"Eaton was going very, very strong," Royals manager Tony Pena
said. "We had a lot of trouble getting anything going against
Greene, who finished with three RBI, hit a fly ball to medium
right, and Robinson slid home safely when Matt Stairs' throw to the
plate hit kneeling first baseman Ken Harvey in the back. Expecting
the throw to go through, Harvey was looking at the plate instead of
the ball and was stunned when it hit him.
"I've never seen that happen before," Pena said. "I don't
know that the throw would have gotten him, but it was on line."
Only two runners reached base against Eaton in the first seven
innings. He hit Harvey with a pitch in the first and walked him in
Eaton was the 10th pitcher in San Diego's 36-year history to
take a no-hit bid into the eighth. The Padres remain one of four
teams without a no-hitter. The others are the New York Mets,
Colorado and Tampa Bay.
Incredibly, three of those 10 close calls came on July 3. Randy
Jones held Cincinnati hitless into the eighth inning in 1975, and
Andy Benes got into the eighth against the Mets in 1994.
"I had a cutter today that was pretty good," Eaton said. "I
knew I had a live fastball."
Brown hit a 2-2 pitch to the base of the left-field wall to
spoil Eaton's attempt. The crowd of 43,152 gave the 26-year-old
right-hander a standing ovation.
"For seven innings, he was lights out," Graffanino said. "The
thing that made him tough was he was very, very aggressive. He had
a great fastball, and he threw his off-speed stuff just enough to
keep us off-balance."
Leading off the seventh, Harvey hit a scorching line drive back
up the middle that was caught by a twisting Eaton coming off the
mound. Otherwise, it probably would have been a hit.
Kansas City, ranked 13th out of 14 AL teams in runs, has lost
nine of 10.
At one point, Eaton struck out five Royals in a row in the
second and third.
Kansas City starter Darrell May gave up four runs, three earned,
in seven innings.
The Padres pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth. With two outs,
Klesko started the rally with a double. Payton followed with a walk
and Greene drove in two runs with a triple to right-center.
San Diego added a run in the seventh for a 4-0 lead. Jeff
Cirillo reached second when Brown dropped a fly to left for an
error. Cirillo scored on a sacrifice fly by Brian Giles.
The Padres signed OF Darren Bragg, who had been playing at
Triple-A before he was released by the New York Yankees. San Diego
also recalled RHP Ricky Stone from Triple-A Portland, optioned INF
Ramon Vazquez to Portland and outrighted Robinson to Portland. ...
Nolan Ryan of the California Angels threw the only no-hitter
against the Royals in 1973. ... The Padres are 13-1 in one-run
games at Petco Park.