Young turns in gem against Nationals
Right-hander allows three hits in eight scoreless innings
SAN DIEGO -- Chris Young may have lost faith in his Dallas Mavericks, but he certainly hasn't lost faith in his pitching or his teammates.Young (3-2) threw eight innings of scoreless three-hit ball on Tuesday night, and his teammates came up with some outstanding "baseball plays" including a hit-and-run and a squeeze bunt as the San Diego Padres beat the Washington Nationals, 3-0, at PETCO Park. Young, who walked three and struck out eight, extended his scoreless-innings streak at PETCO Park to 15 innings. He worked seven frames on April 4 in a 1-0 Padres win against the Giants. Trevor Hoffman came on in the ninth on Tuesday and picked up his sixth save of the season and the 488th of his career as the Padres (14-13) nailed down their Major League best fourth shutout of the season. Shawn Hill (2-3) took the tough-luck loss for the Nationals (9-18). He allowed just four hits, but three of them played into the three Padres runs. When told that his Mavericks had rallied in the final two minutes to beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs, Young, who is a Dallas native, remarked, "I don't care if they won. I've lost my faith in them." Moments later, Young was talking about his outstanding pitching effort and his teammates, who provided him with just enough offense. "I knew I had to be sharp tonight. This is a good hitting team, and I was just trying to execute good pitches," said Young. "I just made enough good pitches. Overall, it's a good win for the guys -- bouncing back from last night." The Padres, who left runners in scoring position all night long on Monday in their 3-2 loss to Washington, made the most of their four hits on Tuesday. Two of their hits came back-to-back in the fourth inning when they scored their first run. Brian Giles singled to center leading off, and Adrian Gonzalez lined a double down the right-field line on a hit-and-run with Giles racing all the way around to score. With the Padres nursing a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning, Mike Cameron drew a one-out walk. He then stole second base, his third swipe of the season. Kevin Kouzmanoff, mired in a 1-for-23 slump, tripled off the right-field wall to score Cameron. It was his first Major League triple. "When that ball went up in the air, we knew he had hit it well," said Padres manager Bud Black. "I think the visual we all had was that [Austin] Kearns was going to make the play, because that's the way it's been going for this guy. But to hit it opposite field against the wall, he squared that one up. It was great to see that he got a hit. We're all behind this fella. He's working extremely hard in batting practice, and we're hoping that there is more of that to come." With Kouzmanoff on first and relief pitcher Micah Bowie coming on, Black put on the suicide squeeze play with Oscar Robles. Robles, filling in for the injured Marcus Giles at second base, dropped down a perfect bunt as Kouzmanoff headed home and Micah had just one play, a throw to first. Robles was out at first but credited with a sacrifice and his first RBI of the season. "I think there are certain matchups with certain pitchers, and there are certain matchups with hitters," said Black. "That combination makes sense sometimes to do some things. I think anybody in the game will tell you that. "[The hit-and-run and squeeze] were just baseball plays," said Black. "Oscar is a guy that you have a lot of trust in putting the bat on the ball. Every game is different. Every game evolves into its own self. It felt right." As for Young's performance, Black said, "I thought Chris threw the ball well. I thought his fastball had a lot of life in the hitting area. I thought he moved the ball well in and out. He snapped off a few good sliders, especially early in the game. He worked at a nice pace in between pitches and was in control of the game." "I settled in early," said Young. "I think as the game progressed was going where I wanted it. I was hitting my spots and executed better as the game moved along." Brian Schneider had two of the three hits off Young, a two-out double in the fifth and a leadoff single in the eighth. The Padres hope that May will continue to be their month. The Friars were 22-6 in May 2005 and 19-10 last season, including a 13-1 start.
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.