Battered Padres finish off sweep
Germano leaves with injured thumb; Maddux pinch-runs
SAN DIEGO -- Chalk another one up for the San Diego Padres' "MASH Unit."With starting pitcher Justin Germano leaving the game after drawing blood, with Geoff Blum playing nine innings in left field for the first time in over five years, with Greg Maddux pinch-running and Brian Giles and Morgan Ensberg coming off the bench, the Padres completed a three-game sweep of the Giants on Sunday with a 5-4 victory. "It's just so happens that guys had to come out and play more than normal," said Mike Cameron. "That's what it's going to take. We're like a MASH unit." Cameron delivered what looked to be just icing on the Padres' win when he doubled home Ensberg, who had delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth as the Padres took a 5-2 lead into the ninth. Trevor Hoffman came on and did pick up his 29th save of the season and 511th of his career but not without his own palpitations. Bengie Molina hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run with one out, cutting the Padres' lead to one. Mark Sweeney singled and Dave Roberts lofted a fly to left that Blum didn't see right away. It looked for a moment like it was going to go over his head, but Blum recovered and gathered the ball for the second out. Hoffman struck out Randy Winn to end the game as the third straight sellout crowd that pushed the Padres over the 2 million mark for the year celebrated. "I didn't know I had it until I saw it," said Blum of his clutch catch. "I picked it up pretty late and just made a move and caught it.
"You've got to have interchangeable parts these days," said Blum, who last played in left for the Montreal Expos back in 2001. "It seems like the games are gravitating more towards more utility guys on the bench. Unfortunately, we've got some guys beat up right now. We're trying to get healthy. But on the other hand, it's a chance for me to go out and make some plays and get some ABs."Asked about Maddux pinch-running Sunday and Jake Peavy pinch-hitting Saturday, Blum said, "That's a lot of money going out there ... a lot of good money going out there that we need. "We've got a lot of guys that can do things. I think the willingness to go do it is another thing. It says a lot about the character of this ballclub." Germano showed a lot of his character in pitching into the sixth inning before the nail on his right thumb lifted up after making a stop on a hard shot by the Giants' Pedro Feliz. He had to leave the game. "The ball checked up on me," said Germano. "I kind of got my hand in the glove with the ball at the same time and it pinched in between. When it happened, at first it was stinging. It got a little numb and now it's not too bad." Asked if he will be able to take his turn on Friday, Germano said "it will be fine." Germano was replaced by Doug Brocail, who gave up two singles before getting the final out. Brocail (4-1) became the winning pitcher when the Padres touched up Giants reliever Vinnie Chulk (4-3) for two runs in the sixth inning. Marcus Giles, who drove in the Padres' first run with a single in the second, delivered a sacrifice fly, scoring Michael Barrett. And Brian Giles, still hobbled by a right ankle sprain, hit a sharp grounder that scored Rob Mackowiak from third. "It was a good situation," said Brian Giles. "Marcus came up, hit that sac fly to get Mackowiak over to third and with the infield in, I hit the ball pretty good and was able to get the guy in. Every run today was pretty good. "[Monday], if I make as much improvement as I did from Saturday to today, I think I'll be able to play." The Padres begin a seven-game road trip Monday with a four-game series in St. Louis. Giants starter Noah Lowry left after just three innings with left forearm tightness. As for Germano, he said, "I had control of all my pitches; the changeup was a big pitch to have. I haven't used it as much as I did today." Germano's batterymate Barrett, who had that key single leading off the sixth, scored two runs and also walked in the second inning. Amazingly, it was his first walk as a Padre (42 at-bats) and his first walk in 114 at-bats dating back to June 9 when he walked against the Braves for the Cubs. "I was pretty happy about that," said Barrett. "I've just been trying a little too hard offensively and just got to try and be a lot more selective at the plate, be a little more patient. I can't believe it's been this long before I've gotten a walk. "It's been bothering me for a while. But you try not to be less aggressive. I don't want to [have] premeditative takes. I think right now I've been in a little bit of a rut. When you start swinging the bat better, you do tend to get more walks and I'm hoping today was a good sign, a sign that something good's about to come."
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.