Marc Newfield Gets Key Hits In Victory
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Marc Newfield gave the Los Angeles Dodgers something to remember him by Wednesday night.
Filling in for the injured Tony Gwynn, Newfield drove in two runs as the San Diego Padres defeated the Dodgers 3-2, making the teams tied for first in the NL West.
``He’s a big, strong kid,″ Dodgers interim manager Bill Russell said. ``He’s getting an opportunity to play and is doing well.″
Newfield broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out infield single in the seventh off Ramon Martinez (6-3), scoring Rickey Henderson from third.
``That was a big hit for them tonight, obviously,″ Russell said. ``There’s a lot of pressure on the kid, no question. He came through off a pitcher like Ramon.″
Newfield was thrust into the line up when Gwynn went on the disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday, with fraying and a minor tear of his right Achilles tendon.
In Newfield’s first plate appearance Wednesday, he hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the first. Two innings later, he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Henderson.
Although Newfield was the Padres’ hottest player in spring training, he did not figure to play much in an outfield with Henderson, Gwynn and Steve Finley.
That all changed this week.
``I can’t replace Tony,″ Newfield said. ``I can’t do what Tony does. I can only play within my own capabilities.″
Newfield is batting .302 overall with four homers and 21 RBIs. In 27 starts, he is batting .308 (33-for-107).
``He’s going to do some damage,″ Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. ``It’s been awfully hard for him because he hasn’t played much. It’s going to take him some time, but he’ll be OK.″
Joey Hamilton (10-4) set a career high for victories.
Pitching on three days rest for the first time in his career, Hamilton allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two.
``I made a little adjustment since my last start,″ Hamilton said. ``I slowed down so I wasn’t getting out in front of the ball. It gave me a lot better control. It made a big difference.″
In Hamilton’s previous start he lasted a career-low 2 2-3 innings at San Francisco, allowing six runs and six hits.
He struggled at times against the Dodgers, working out of three jams with runners in scoring position.
``Hamilton was just that good tonight,″ Russell said. ``Whenever we got something going, he got the out when he needed it. He just shut us down.″
Trevor Hoffman allowed one hit and struck out three over the final two innings, earning his 17th save.
The Dodgers won the previous two games of the series by scores of 10-2 and 7-3, pulling one game ahead of San Diego going into Wednesday.
``We would’ve liked to get this last one,″ Los Angeles second baseman Delino DeShields said. ``Taking two out of three here, we’re still in good shape. These games are all going to count somewhere down the line.″
Notes: Andy Ashby (sore shoulder), originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday against Los Angeles, is not expected to pitch for the Padres until after the All-Star break. Ashby (8-2) earlier missed two starts because of discomfort in his shoulder. ... Catcher Mike Piazza returned to the Dodgers lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s game to rest his sore knee. ... Blowers extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. ... Hamilton ran his home record to 8-1 in 10 starts this season.