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04/09/07 11:00 PM ET
Notes: Padres playing until the end
Bochy returns to San Diego; Hensley hoping to make start
By Amanda Branam / Special to MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have been on the good end of two straight walk-off wins, and it's given first-year manager Bud Black an early idea of the character of his team. "It shows these guys are playing through 27 outs and they are playing hard," said Black, whose team has won its first two series of the season. "Even though it's early, there's a feeling around here that what's happened the last two nights can continue to happen if the games are close." It must also be a comfort to know that the Padres are getting clutch hits from different spots in the batting order, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hitting third for his walk-off double Saturday, and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff in the seventh spot when he hit a walk-off single in the 10th Sunday. "It should be a sign of a team that comes back," said Mike Cameron. "It gives us a sense that the game ain't over until the last out." While the hits put the Padres in the win column two consecutive nights, Cameron is quick to point out hitting wasn't the only thing that helped San Diego move to 4-2 on the season. "Attribute it to our pitching and defense to keeping it close," he said. The starting pitching has been good, but the Padres' relief pitching has been perfect. Coming into Monday's game, the bullpen extended its scoreless streak this season to 18 2/3 innings, the best start for a bullpen in franchise history. Bochy back: Giants manager Bruce Bochy was the only manager PETCO Park ever knew until this season, when Black took over after Bochy left to take the reins at San Francisco. "I knew this was on the schedule," Bochy said. "I was looking forward to coming here." The two teams faced off last week in San Francisco, but Monday was the first time Bochy saw the four-year-old ballpark from the third-base dugout. "Yeah, you get a little different view," he said with a smile. "It looks good from this side, too. It's a beautiful park." There are many things new to Bochy recently: a new town, a new team and new players to learn about. Before Monday's game against the Padres, he also had to find a new parking spot. "I didn't get lost," he said. "I'll probably get a bill; I parked in the parking lot across the street." New parking spot aside, Bochy was the Padres' manager for 12 seasons and left the Friars after leading them to consecutive National League West titles and compiling a 951-975 record. Still, Bochy isn't looking back too much these days. "You can't be in a place as long as I was here without having great memories of those players and fans," he said. "Personally and professionally, this was the right move for me. My focus is winning ballgames and getting this team on the right track." Hensley still planning to start Tuesday: Clay Hensley is determined to make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Giants, though a blister on his right middle finger is making that difficult. "I think we'll find out tomorrow. Hopefully, he'll be fine," said Black. "Hopefully, the time in between his last start has given him enough time to heal where it won't affect him." Black said at this point, it's still just 50-50 if Hensley might need to miss a little time to let it heal. "We've got to look at the severity," Black said. "I think we're in that gray area right now." Should the blister flare up and force an early exit from Hensley, Black will likely put in Mike Thompson if a long reliever is needed. "If it happened early in the game, Mike would be the most legitimate guy to give us length," Black said. Coming up: Hensley (0-1, 9.64 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for San Diego in the second game of a three-game set with San Francisco, facing off against right-hander Matt Morris (1-0, 1.29 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.
Amanda Branam is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.