LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles Dodgers were still searching for their first hit of the game with two outs in the ninth inning. Nine pitches later, they had an improbable victory.
Juan Uribe(notes) doubled to left for Los Angeles’ first hit and Dioner Navarro(notes) drove him in with a single to center, sending the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
“Everybody wants to get that hit and be the guy,” Navarro said. “We just kept telling ourselves to be patient and do the best we can. I knew there was a base open and they were going to pitch around me, which they did. But then he threw a fastball in there. I was looking for a pitch up in the strike zone and I put some good wood on it.”
Uribe’s hit came on a 1-2 pitch and Navarro delivered on a 3-1 offering from Luke Gregerson(notes) (2-2), who struck out Matt Kemp(notes) to begin the inning, then got James Loney(notes) to ground out.
“I’ve seen some crazy things in my nine years in the big leagues,” Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes) said, “but that’s the way the game goes. So what are you going to do? You just keep playing.”
Rubby De La Rosa(notes) and three relievers combined on a one-hitter that gave the Dodgers three consecutive shutout victories for the first time since July 1991. Los Angeles has won nine of its last 19 games, and seven of those victories have been shutouts—including the last five.
“To tell the truth, I don’t think anyone in the bullpen knew there was a no-hitter going,” Gregerson said. “The starter was out of the game, so what did it matter at that point? It’s only fun if the starter goes nine innings and throws a no-hitter and your guys score some runs. But a loss is a loss at the end of the day.
“I made one bad pitch and that was it. It’s as simple as that,” Gregerson added. “The slider was working really good today and I just left one up and paid for it. I made a good pitch to Navarro and he got it. That’s all that matters.”
Aaron Harang(notes) started for San Diego and worked six innings, finishing with six strikeouts and three walks while throwing 95 pitches. Josh Spence(notes) came on and struck out his only batter, Andre Ethier(notes), before Chad Qualls(notes) escaped a jam to keep the game scoreless.
Mike Adams(notes) got out of another scrape in the eighth, retiring Tony Gwynn Jr.(notes), Rafael Furcal(notes) and Ethier after Jamey Carroll(notes) drew a leadoff walk and third baseman Chase Headley(notes) committed a throwing error on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen(notes).
The 33-year-old Harang had missed 26 games because of a bruised right foot, which occurred during his 7-2 victory over Washington on June 9. At the time of his injury, he had a string of five straight starts in which he did not allow more than two runs.
Harang might have gone longer in this one had he not thrown 37 pitches in the first inning.
“I think if it was a different situation and I got through seven, it’s probably going to be a different,” Harang said. “I felt great. I felt like I was commanding the ball well and my off-speed stuff was there. But obviously that first inning killed me. Even if I get through that inning in 20 pitches, it puts the aspect of going back out there in a different scenario. That was the difference in me staying out there, I think.”
De La Rosa, who had no more than six strikeouts in any of his six previous big league starts, fanned seven of his first 10 batters while matching zeros with Harang through the first six innings.
“That kid’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Hudson said. “He’s good. He had good stuff. He’s got a great fastball, good command of his changeup and he’s got a good slider.”
Cameron Maybin(notes) had the first hit of the game, following Denorfia’s leadoff walk in the fifth with a clean single through the box. Both runners advanced on a one-out grounder by Rob Johnson(notes), but De La Rosa escaped the jam by striking out Harang.
NOTES: On Sept. 9, 1965, Cubs LHP Bob Hendley pitched a one-hitter at Dodger Stadium—and Sandy Koufax beat him 1-0 with a perfect game. … Kemp, who will be swinging for the fences in Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby, has homered only twice in his last 24 games and 81 at-bats. He averaged a home run every 12.3 at-bats through his first 67 games this season. … The Dodgers gave Derek Jeter(notes) his due, replaying his 3,000th hit on the videoboard before the game while organist Nancy Bea Hefley played a rousing rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Another member of the 3,000-hit club—Tony Gwynn Sr.—watched it live from a couch in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, just a few feet from his son’s locker. “The only time I ever said anything to (Jeter) about hitting was when he came up to me during Game 1 of the World Series in New York in ’98,” Gwynn recalled later in the Padres’ dugout. “I was standing on second base and he said: `Man you need to teach me how to hit.’ And I said: `Yeah, right. You’re kidding me, right? You’re such a good hitter.’ I always thought he was a good hitter, ever since he came up. You just knew that, as consistent as he was, sooner or later he was going to get to this point.” … The Padres optioned RHP Pat Neshek(notes) to Triple-A Tucson to open a roster spot for Harang.