Dodgers 1, Padres 0

The Los Angeles Dodgers were still searching for their first hit

of the game with two outs in the ninth inning. Nine pitches later,

they had an improbable victory.

Juan Uribe doubled to left for Los Angeles’ first hit and Dioner

Navarro drove him in with a single to center, sending the Dodgers

to a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

”Everybody wants to get that hit and be the guy,” Navarro

said. ”We just kept telling ourselves to be patient and do the

best we can. I knew there was a base open and they were going to

pitch around me, which they did. But then he threw a fastball in

there. I was looking for a pitch up in the strike zone and I put

some good wood on it.”

Uribe’s hit came on a 1-2 pitch and Navarro delivered on a 3-1

offering from Luke Gregerson (2-2), who struck out Matt Kemp to

begin the inning, then got James Loney to ground out.

”I’ve seen some crazy things in my nine years in the big

leagues,” Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson said, ”but that’s

the way the game goes. So what are you going to do? You just keep

playing.”

Rubby De La Rosa and three relievers combined on a one-hitter

that gave the Dodgers three consecutive shutout victories for the

first time since July 1991. Los Angeles has won nine of its last 19

games, and seven of those victories have been shutouts – including

the last five.

Uribe was down to his last strike when he drove the pitch from

Gregerson over the head of left fielder Chris Denorfia. The Padres

have never had a no-hitter in their 43-year history.

”To tell the truth, I don’t think anyone in the bullpen knew

there was a no-hitter going,” Gregerson said. ”The starter was

out of the game, so what did it matter at that point? It’s only fun

if the starter goes nine innings and throws a no-hitter and your

guys score some runs. But a loss is a loss at the end of the

day.

”I made one bad pitch and that was it. It’s as simple as

that,” Gregerson added. ”The slider was working really good today

and I just left one up and paid for it. I made a good pitch to

Navarro and he got it. That’s all that matters.”

Blake Hawksworth (2-2) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the

Dodgers after Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal each got three

outs.

Aaron Harang started for San Diego and worked six innings,

finishing with six strikeouts and three walks while throwing 95

pitches. Josh Spence came on and struck out his only batter, Andre

Ethier, before Chad Qualls escaped a jam to keep the game

scoreless.

Matt Kemp reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop

Jason Bartlett and James Loney was intentionally walked before

Qualls retired Uribe on a foul popup and Navarro on a

comebacker.

Mike Adams got out of another scrape in the eighth, retiring

Tony Gwynn Jr., Rafael Furcal and Ethier after Jamey Carroll drew a

leadoff walk and third baseman Chase Headley committed a throwing

error on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen.

The 33-year-old Harang had missed 26 games because of a bruised

right foot, which occurred during his 7-2 victory over Washington

on June 9. At the time of his injury, he had a string of five

straight starts in which he did not allow more than two runs.

Harang might have gone longer in this one had he not thrown 37

pitches in the first inning.

”I think if it was a different situation and I got through

seven, it’s probably going to be a different,” Harang said. ”I

felt great. I felt like I was commanding the ball well and my

off-speed stuff was there. But obviously that first inning killed

me. Even if I get through that inning in 20 pitches, it puts the

aspect of going back out there in a different scenario. That was

the difference in me staying out there, I think.”

De La Rosa, who had no more than six strikeouts in any of his

six previous big league starts, fanned seven of his first 10

batters while matching zeros with Harang through the first six

innings.

”That kid’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Hudson said.

”He’s good. He had good stuff. He’s got a great fastball, good

command of his changeup and he’s got a good slider.”

Cameron Maybin had the first hit of the game, following

Denorfia’s leadoff walk in the fifth with a clean single through

the box. Both runners advanced on a one-out grounder by Rob

Johnson, but De La Rosa escaped the jam by striking out Harang.

NOTES: On Sept. 9, 1965, Cubs LHP Bob Hendley pitched a

one-hitter at Dodger Stadium – and Sandy Koufax beat him 1-0 with a

perfect game. … Kemp, who will be swinging for the fences in

Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby, has homered only twice in his

last 24 games and 81 at-bats. He averaged a home run every 12.3

at-bats through his first 67 games this season. … The Dodgers

gave Derek Jeter his due, replaying his 3,000th hit on the

videoboard before the game while organist Nancy Bea Hefley played a

rousing rendition of ”Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Another member of the

3,000-hit club – Tony Gwynn Sr. – watched it live from a couch in

the Dodgers’ clubhouse, just a few feet from his son’s locker.

”The only time I ever said anything to (Jeter) about hitting was

when he came up to me during Game 1 of the World Series in New York

in ’98,” Gwynn recalled later in the Padres’ dugout. ”I was

standing on second base and he said: `Man you need to teach me how

to hit.’ And I said: `Yeah, right. You’re kidding me, right? You’re

such a good hitter.’ I always thought he was a good hitter, ever

since he came up. You just knew that, as consistent as he was,

sooner or later he was going to get to this point.” … The Padres

optioned RHP Pat Neshek to Triple-A Tucson to open a roster spot

for Harang.