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Hoffman gets first save as visitor at Petco Park

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BERNIE WILSON
May 2, 2010
— The routine was so much different than before, although the result was familiar to San Diego Padres fans.

Trevor Hoffman came jogging in from the visitors' bullpen at Petco Park and got back on track by earning the save, and Milwaukee scored for the first time in three games to beat the Padres 2-1 on Saturday night. Yovani Gallardo homered and struck out 11 for the Brewers.


"It was definitely a little different from the other side," said Hoffman, who became baseball's career saves leader while with the Padres. "No bells going, so I felt like a visitor."


When Hoffman was with the Padres, his save situations were always a big deal. He'd jog in from the bullpen gate in center field, with AC/DC's "Hells Bells" screeching over the PA system. Hoffman had 552 saves in 16 seasons with San Diego.


On Saturday night, the scoreboard that used to proclaim "Trevor Time" instead implored the Padres with "Rally Time," while Muse's "Uprising" played.


The Padres never mounted a comeback, however, as Hoffman, who was greeted with a nice ovation, rang up No. 595. He struck out pinch-hitter Matt Stairs with a trademark changeup, got Jerry Hairston to fly out to center and Nick Hundley on a fly to right to end the game.


Hoffman had blown four of seven opportunities this year, including in consecutive games earlier in the week.


"I'm trying to execute pitches and I think some of the things we talked about the last couple of days were things I've gotten hurt by; not making pitches, not locating the fastball," he said. "Tonight, being able to get ahead with the fastball was big, and I wasn't leaving things out over the middle of the plate."


Hoffman blew saves against Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday, equaling his total of four blown saves last year.


"I had a pretty (crummy) April, so it was nice to see the calendar turn over," he said. "In this situation, you see what Yovani had done all night, really battling and pitching his tail off for the ballclub. From a personal standpoint it was big, and from a team standpoint we needed that win."


Hoffman left the Padres as a free agent after the 2008 season. He had 37 saves with the Brewers last year, including one against San Diego at Milwaukee on Aug. 13. His first two saves came with Florida in 1993 before he was traded to the Padres.


San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez and manager Bud Black were ejected by plate umpire Rob Drake for arguing after the slugger took a called third strike for the first out of the eighth. The pitch from LaTroy Hawkins appeared to be inside. The Padres were unhappy all night with Drake's calls. San Diego took eight called third strikes and the Brewers four.


"There were a lot of pitches that we felt were off the plate throughout the game," Gonzalez said. "Sometimes you've got to say something to stick up for yourself. I never disrespected him. I just told him that he missed that pitch and he had been missing it all night."


Rickie Weeks also homered for the Brewers, who snapped a four-game losing streak while ending San Diego's four-game winning streak. The Padres had won eight straight at home.


Gallardo's homer off Mat Latos ended a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings by San Diego pitchers and 24 straight scoreless innings by the Brewers.


Gallardo (3-2) struck out at least 10 for the second time in three starts and the fifth time in his career. He fanned 10 at Pittsburgh on April 21.


The right-hander held San Diego to one run and six hits in seven innings, with two walks.


The Padres stranded two runners each in the second, third and sixth.


"I thought Yo had perfect stuff all the way till the end," Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. "He did a great job of getting some big outs when they had runners on."


Gallardo homered to left on the second pitch of the third inning, his first home run this season and the fifth of his career.


"It always feels good, especially as a pitcher, in situations where you can help yourself out," he said.


Gallardo gave that run back in the bottom half. Latos hit a leadoff single and Gonzalez had an RBI single.


Weeks put the Brewers ahead 2-1 when he homered to left-center on Latos' first pitch of the fifth. It was his fourth.


Latos (1-3) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.


NOTES: Padres RHP Chris Young, on the disabled list with tightness in his right shoulder, is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday for Double-A San Antonio against Midland. He's scheduled to throw approximately 60 pitches. If all goes well, he'll make a second rehab start with Triple-A Portland. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez had an MRI that showed some swelling in his strained left knee, Macha said. Gomez didn't start after leaving Friday night's game in the second inning and might be out a few days. Macha said it was a "mild concern." ... OF Jim Edmonds (back) was feeling much better but didn't play. Macha said he'd like to see Edmonds play Sunday, especially since the Brewers are off Monday.



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