Padres Are on a Tear

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    A fan of the San Diego Padres cheers against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on May 13, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

    Mat Latos knows he might have pitched a perfect game if he only could have blocked Eli Whiteside's comebacker.

    The 22-year-old righty replayed that one a few times in his head afterward, and how could he not? It was his lone blemish.

    Latos threw a one-hitter, allowing just the sixth-inning infield single that deflected off him, and he also drove in the lone run to lead the San Diego Padres past the San Francisco Giants 1-0 on Thursday for a three-game sweep.

    Latos (3-3) retired the first 15 batters before Whiteside opened the sixth with a one hopper that hit off the pitcher's glove hand and bounced toward shortstop. Third baseman Chase Headley's throw to first wasn't in time.

    "You just try to get it there as quick as you can," Headley said. "It would have been nice if that went our way."

    The Padres swept the Giants in their waterfront ballpark for the first time since May 27-29, 2005 -- and the second time they've swept the Giants this season. San Francisco was swept at home for the first time in 2010.

    The Padres moved 3½ games ahead of the Giants in the NL West and wrapped up an impressive 5-1 road trip, improving to 6-0 this season against San Francisco. San Diego has won 10 of the last 13 in the rivalry.

    Latos ran his scoreless-innings streak to 18 as he outdueled lefty Jonathan Sanchez (2-3), who no-hit San Diego here last July 10, to win his second straight start and get his first career complete game. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter in a 106-pitch gem that ended in 2 hours, 6 minutes.

    Latos combined on a six-hit shutout of the Giants on April 20 in San Diego, a game the Padres won 1-0 despite managing just one hit against Sanchez and Co. He did it all himself this time.

    "Everything came together today," Latos said. "The comebacker, I should have stopped that, knocked it down. If I knock the ball down I've got a chance to throw him out."

    After Whiteside reached base, Matt Downs got aboard on a fielder's choice and that was it for the Giants. Latos slapped a high-five with catcher Nick Hundley as they headed into the dugout after the eighth.

    "In the ninth inning I felt I had a lot of Adrenalin pumping through my body," said Latos, who has retired 55 of his last 58 batters.
    Latos' bid for a perfect game, though it lasted only five innings, provided some excitement only four days after Oakland's Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history across San Francisco Bay on Sunday against Tampa Bay.
    This one wasn't much different.

    "I was just trying to get something going. An infield hit, that's it," Whiteside said. "He had it all going today."

    Latos topped his previous-best outing last time out: eight scoreless innings with no walks and nine Ks at Houston on Friday. He became the first Giants opponent to pitch a one-hitter at 11-year-old AT&T Park.

    "He pitched brilliantly last start against the Astros and followed that up with another gem," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's the only way I can describe it."

    Latos was drafted in the 11th round in 2006 by Joe Bochy, brother of Giants manager and ex-Padres skipper Bruce Bochy.
    "He's a big kid with a big arm and tons of talent," Bruce Bochy said. "He had good command of all his pitches and he showed good poise, too. We got a great pitching effort by Sanchey. That gets lost in all this."

    Latos singled in the Padres' first run with two outs in the fifth, the second straight day a starter drove in a run to help his cause.
    "He just happened to make a mistake and I stuck the bat out there," Latos said. "I can't say I did it on purpose."

    The Giants have scored just eight total runs in their six losses this year to San Diego.

    They didn't do much in this one to help Sanchez, who allowed three hits and one run in eight sharp innings. He struck out five and walked one.

    Since losing its first two series of the season at Arizona and Colorado, San Diego has won seven of its last eight.