Padres 5, Marlins 3
Watching Cameron Maybin this week, Jack McKeon saw the kind of performance he envisioned when the speedy center fielder first joined the Florida Marlins.
Only now Maybin plays for the San Diego Padres.
Maybin had four more hits and a home-run-saving catch Thursday to help the Padres complete a three-game sweep by beating Florida 5-3. He went 9 for 14 with five runs and five stolen bases in the three games against his former team.
''I see a different guy,'' said McKeon, the Marlins' manager. ''I see a guy who is tremendously improved. He's a much better hitter. What they did to him over there, I don't know. I don't know why he didn't do it with us.''
Maybin batted .246 for Florida while splitting his time between the majors and minors in 2008-10. Traded to San Diego last November, he's now an everyday big leaguer, and the showing in Miami lifted his average to .277.
''To sweep these guys, it definitely means a lot to me,'' Maybin said. ''I've got so many buddies over there. They have been talking trash the whole time, but I do honestly love all those guys.''
Maybin helped the light-hitting Padres outscore Florida 23-6 in the series.
''They probably scored more runs in this series than they had scored all month,'' McKeon said.
When the sweep was complete, the Padres were pleased but also relieved. Second baseman Orlando Hudson avoided serious injury when he collided with a wall after catching a foul popup.
Following an eight-minute delay, Hudson was carted off the field and taken to a hospital where X-rays were negative.
A team spokesman said late Thursday night that although Hudson did not fly on the team charter he did join the Padres in Philadelphia and is listed as day to day.
''It was a scary moment,'' manager Bud Black said. ''When a guy goes unconscious, you're worried.''
The catch ended a Marlins threat in the seventh with San Diego nursing a two-run lead. The news that Hudson would be OK allowed the light-hitting Padres to savor their offensive surge.
Especially grateful was Dustin Moseley (3-9), who went six innings and allowed three runs, all unearned. He came into the game ranked next to last in the majors in run support, but the Padres gave him a quick lead when their first three batters scored.
''It makes things a lot easier, that's for sure,'' he said. ''You don't have to be so careful and try to be perfect.''
The right-hander was so excited to be ahead he stayed in the game after a 2 1/2-hour rain delay in the second inning.
He benefited from a leaping catch by Maybin in the first to rob Logan Morrison of a two-run homer.
''It's always fun to watch someone look at you like you did something crazy,'' Maybin said. ''And that's what Lo Mo was doing.''
''That might have been the key to the ballgame,'' McKeon said.
The Padres swept the Marlins for the second time this season, and they've won their past eight games in Miami. They climbed out of last place in the NL West with the victory and improved to 14-11 since June 21.
Jesus Guzman had a two-run double in the first. San Diego shortstop Josh Bartlett had two hits and scored twice but also committed his 16th error, which led to three unearned runs.
Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.
Florida's Emilio Bonifacio singled home a run to extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games, the longest active streak in the majors. Javier Vazquez (6-9) went only 4 1-3 innings and allowed five runs, the last on a bases-loaded walk.
After the Padres scored 13 runs in the first two innings Wednesday, their first four batters reached on hits in the first for a 3-0 lead. Will Venable started the game with a double that right fielder Mike Stanton could have caught but misjudged. Venable scored on a single by Bartlett, and after Maybin reached on an infield hit, Guzman hit a two-run double.
Maybin singled in the third, stole second and came home on a single by Hudson.
''They were hitting everything we threw up there,'' Florida's Morrison said. ''And we weren't hitting anything they were throwing up there.''
NOTES: Marlins slugger Stanton broke his bat for the 36th time this season on a groundout in the second. He entered the game tied for the major league lead, according to STATS, LLC. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley (strained right calf), sidelined since Saturday, was available off the bench and is expected to rejoin the lineup Friday. ... The Padres improved to 21-15 in day games. ... Announced attendance was 27,143, but many fans left during the delay, and by the middle innings only a couple of thousand spectators remained.