Gaudin dominates in Friars' one-hit win
Righty strikes out nine; Hairston finishes triple shy of cycle
ARLINGTON -- Bud Black has seen a lot of great pitching in his career, but he was amazed with Chad Gaudin's performance on Sunday.
"Boy, that was just a great game," Black said. "What a performance. I've seen a lot of games in this park from this dugout and that was one of the best pitched games I've seen."Gaudin's performance, it could be argued, might have been the best by an opposing pitcher at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He allowed one hit over eight innings, striking out nine hitters, as the Padres won, 2-0. That was the only time an opposing pitcher had pitched eight or more innings and allowed one or fewer hits. Rangers pitchers have managed that feat just twice in the 15-year history of the ballpark. "Sweet," Gaudin said of his history-setting performance. "That's the key to the game -- keeping guys off balance. Same game plan: keep hitters off balance. Not every day will you throw what you want where you want." Gaudin's outing was the Padres' first one-hitter since Sept. 22, 2006, against the Pirates, and the 21st in club history. Chris Young threw the first 8 2/3 innings with Cla Meredith finishing the Padres' victory that day. Gaudin faced the minimum number of hitters five times in his eight innings of work. "From the third inning on, the ball-to-strike ratio was outstanding," Black said. "He was ahead of hitters. His three-strike strikeouts showed he was aggressive. His fastball was sinking, his slider was good. This was a special game. We don't expect this all the time." Gaudin's win gave the Padres their first series win since May 25-27 at Arizona, which was nine series ago. They were 0-6-2 in series entering this weekend against the Rangers. The series win also was the Padres' first in Interleague Play since June 12-14, 2007, at the Rays. Gaudin wanted to go back out for the ninth inning -- he had only thrown 101 pitches -- but realized his outing could've turned around. "I coulda given up a bloop hit, another, and I'm at 113 pitches," Gaudin said. "I know Heath [Bell] hadn't pitched in four days." Bell came into the game because Black wanted to give his closer some work. Bell worked around a leadoff walk to notch his 21st save of the season. Gaudin's lone hit allowed was a single to Michael Young in the first inning. "He was good," Young said. "His slider was sharp. He threw fastballs for strikes with good movement and kept the ball down in the zone." Despite a 1-2 slider to Young, ruining his chance at no-hit history, Gaudin was unfazed about Young's hit. "I've seen too many things turn around," Gaudin said. "Anything could be hit. I'm not going to glorify myself. I don't look at what I'm doing. I'm working on the hitter at hand." He said his performance Sunday was his best in the Major Leagues, but perhaps not in professional baseball. Gaudin threw a perfect game in Double-A. He said there were six or seven hard-hit balls that day, but he was fortunate enough they were right at people. Former Rangers pitcher Kevin Brown pitched the Padres' last one-hit shutout on Aug. 16, 1998 Gaudin credited a strong defense, especially Tony Gwynn in right field, for some spectacular plays behind him. Gwynn saved a hit early in the game with an excellent grab to record an out. Scott Hairston provided the offense for the Padres. He went 3-for-4 with both RBIs. Hairston entered the game on a 2-for-20 skid since coming off the disabled list. He didn't need to be reminded of his bad numbers after the game. "I know 'em already," Hairston said. "Sometimes it happens. It's hard to get your timing back. It's hard. I had good timing tonight." Hairston homered to left field on a 1-2 pitch from Rangers starter Tommy Hunter, who took the loss. It went an estimated 370 feet to left field. Two innings later, a heads-up baserunning play by Everth Cabrera, hitting in the No. 2 hole because David Eckstein didn't start, helped add another run. Cabrera launched a shot into the right-field corner, which Andruw Jones took too long in fielding. Cabrera rounded second and slid into third easily, as Ian Kinsler's relay throw from Jones almost went into the stands. Hairston followed that play with a single that easily scored the speedy Cabrera. The Padres improved to 12-10 all-time against the Rangers and have won two-of-three in the past two series in Arlington. The series win ended a streak of 12 consecutive series' lost to American League teams by the Padres.
Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.