PHOENIX (AP) -- Thirty minutes after San Diego lost to Arizona
3-1 Friday night, several Padres silently ate their postgame meal
while watching the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants on
a clubhouse television.
Others ignored the TV.
"If the Dodgers win, so what?" second baseman Todd Walker
said. "We still have to win our games. I think that's the attitude
of the guys who aren't watching. The guys who are probably just
don't have anything else to do."
The Padres couldn't have liked what they saw. The Dodgers scored
two runs in the ninth to beat the Giants 4-3 and pull into a
first-place tie in the NL West with two games to go.
Both teams are also tied for the wild-card lead, two games ahead
It was a tough night for San Diego, whose celebration was
delayed when Livan Hernandez pitched shutout ball into the seventh
inning and Eric Byrnes homered to prevent the Padres from clinching
a playoff berth. San Diego would clinch no worse than the wild-card
spot with one more victory or a loss by the Phillies, who routed
"It's coming down to the wire," said starter Clay Hensley
(11-12), who allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. "It
would have been nice to get in there tonight, but I think we're
just going to have to come out tomorrow and do a little grinding. I
think we're going to be all right."
Hernandez had one of his finest performances since the
Diamondbacks acquired him from Washington on Aug. 7. He gave up one
run, four hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out four
and improving to 9-2 against the Padres.
"He pitched a great game," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.
"He's been tough on us before."
Arizona took a 2-0 lead in the third when Craig Counsell drew a
two-out walk and Byrnes hit a 1-1 pitch from Hensley into the left
field seats for his team-high 26th homer.
Arizona was happy to delay the Padres' party, although manager
Bob Melvin said the Diamondbacks weren't looking to play spoiler.
"It's more of a pride issue for us," he said. "You don't
derive your motivation from beating another team and knocking them
out of the playoffs or beating them in a pennant race. If that's
the way you've got to get your motivation, then you're not doing it
right to begin with, so it's all about pride and winning as many
games as we can and playing our division teams tough."
On Saturday afternoon, the Padres will send 43-year-old
left-hander David Wells to the mound against the Diamondbacks.
Bochy rejected the suggestion that his team may be feeling
"We've heard now for over a month now how important every
series is, every game," Bochy said. "We're not going to change
anything. We've just got to come out here and play our game and
hopefully put some runs on the board.
"As far as pressure, it's been there all month," Bochy said.
"Every series, we've heard this is a make-or-break series. That's
the way it's been for a while. These guys have responded very
A crowd of 30,700 raised Arizona's home total to 2,009,720.
The Diamondbacks need to draw 49,022 to their last two games to
avoid the lowest home attendance in their nine-year history. ...
Luis Gonzalez played in his 1,192d game for Arizona, extending his
club record. He's expected to be in the lineup for the last two
games of the season. The Diamondbacks have said they won't re-sign
him. ... San Diego is 23-51 at Arizona.