Bobby Wine, Atlanta Braves manager, wanted starter Rick Mahler to throw a complete game against the Padres on Sunday, but he wanted to win a little more.
Wine yanked Mahler for Terry Forster with the score tied at 2-2 with two on and two out in the ninth inning. Result: a 3-2 Atlanta victory.
Forster loaded the bases with a walk and gave way to Rick Camp, who got Steve Garvey to pop up to short.
However, the Braves won it in their half of the ninth when Padre reliever Gene Walter walked pinch-hitter Rafael Ramirez with the bases loaded.
“Every win is crucial,” Wine said of his decision not to let Mahler finish. “I just felt we had to take it any way we could. Mahler was throwing well, but I thought Forster had a better shot at the win except when Terry couldn’t get the ball over, so we brought in Camp.
“He jammed Garvey, so that turned out to be the best move of the day.”
Camp (3-6) earned the win while Mahler (17-14) got no decision. Padre reliever Lance McCullers (0-2) took the loss.
“I think it’s been a good year for me even though I won’t get 20 wins,” Mahler said. “Most times the team has either scored a lot of runs or played good defense behind me. Glenn Hubbard’s play probably saved today’s game.”
Hubbard started an inning-ending double play in the seventh by knocking down Tim Flannery’s grounder behind second.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first when leadoff batter Paul Zuvella doubled, advanced to third on Hubbard’s bunt single and scored when Dale Murphy forced Hubbard.
San Diego tied it when Kevin McReynolds hit his 15th homer to lead off the fifth inning, but Atlanta came back for a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Brad Komminsk’s single and Paul Runge’s RBI double.
The Padres tied it at 2 when Tony Gwynn singled in the eighth, stole second and came home on Garvey’s single.
Milt Thompson was hit by a pitch by McCullers to open the ninth. He went to second when Komminsk was safe attempting to sacrifice on McCullers’ error, and the two moved up on an intentional walk to Albert Hall.
Padre starter Mark Thurmond, who hasn’t won since Aug. 27, allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks in seven innings. He struck out five.