Padres Squeeze Out a Victory : Baseball: Paul Faries’ suicide squeeze in the 12th scores McGriff to give Padres a 5-4 decision over Dodgers.


The Padres salvaged something from a six-game home stand in which they had lost four in a row, using Paul Faries’ bases-loaded suicide squeeze to beat the Dodgers, 5-4, Thursday night in front of a crowd of 40,446 in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

The scheduled postgame fireworks display was in danger of taking place on July 5.

But in the bottom of the 12th, Fred McGriff grounded a one-out single to left, and Jerald Clark followed with a single to right. Dodger reliever Jim Gott intentionally walked Benito Santiago, but on a 2-and-1 pitch, Faries pushed a bunt between the first-base line and the mound.

Gott fielded the ball, but McGriff beat his throw to the plate.

The victory salvaged one game in a three-game set with the Dodgers, and leaves the Padres 9 1/2 games out of first place. It also ended the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak.


The Dodgers blew a chance to win it in the 10th when Adam Peterson started the inning by walking Mike Sharperson and Gary Carter. Craig Lefferts then came on and, after Alfredo Griffin sacrificed the runners to second and third, Lefferts hit pinch-hitter Carlos Hernandez with a pitch.

But the next batter, Brett Butler, lined to Padre third baseman Scott Coolbaugh, who stepped on third to double off Sharperson.

The Padres had a runner on third in the bottom of the 10th with two out, but Paul Faries flied to right to end the threat.

It was a long, busy night:

- Except for getting doubled off of first and picked off of first, it was quite a night for Tony Gwynn. He went four for five, had one RBI and became the all-time Padre stolen base leader. He stole two bases, giving him 244 and surpassing Gene Richards’ 242.

It was only the second time this season Gwynn had a four-hit night--the other was April 22 in San Francisco--and the 19th time he has done it in his career.

- Greg Harris returned to the Padre pitching rotation for the first time since April 22. He left without a decision after facing two batters in the seventh. He allowed three runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out one. He threw 95 pitches--59 strikes and 36 balls--and allowed baserunners in each inning he worked except the fifth.


- The Padres tied a club record by using seven pitchers. It was the ninth time they have done so, and the first time since April 13, 1985.

- Dodger right fielder Darryl Strawberry, who returned from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, hit his first home run in more than a month in the first inning off Harris. It was his first since May 31, when he hit one against Cincinnati, and it was his first on the road since the Dodgers were in Houston on May 22. It was his eighth of the season.

- The top three in the Padre order--Thomas Howard, Tony Fernandez and Gwynn--reached base nine times in 12 at bats through the first seven innings. The flip side: Also through seven innings, the bottom four in the Padre order--Santiago, Tim Teufel, Coolbaugh and the pitcher’s spot--reached base one time in 12 plate appearances.

- And it was a night of streaks. Dodger outfielder Butler singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 18 consecutive games, the longest current hitting streak in baseball. Dodger catcher Carter went four for five, extending his streak to 12 consecutive games.

After all the bookkeeping, the game may have come down to one crucial point in the seventh, when the Padres scored a run and maybe could have had more. The run came when Howard scored on Gwynn’s sacrifice fly, giving the Padres a 4-3 lead.

There were two out at that point with Fernandez on first and McGriff at the plate. McGriff sliced a single to right, and Fernandez rounded second, headed for third . . . and ran right through third-base coach Bruce Kimm’s stop sign. Fernandez headed for the plate; Strawberry hit cutoff man Eddie Murray, who threw home to catcher Carter, who tagged Fernandez out.


So much for aggressiveness.

And so much for the Padre lead. The Dodgers came right back and tied it in the eighth against Larry Andersen when Butler extended his hitting streak and singled Carter home.

Fernandez, though, wasn’t the lone culprit. It was a sloppy game for the Padres. Howard was caught leaning off of first after singling in the third, and Gwynn was picked off first after singling in the fifth.

And they collected three hits in the third inning but still couldn’t score. Part of that was Howard’s fault, getting caught off of first. Following that, Fernandez doubled and went to third on Gwynn’s single, but McGriff followed with a liner to Griffin, who doubled Gwynn off of first base.

These are mistakes you just cannot make when Mike Morgan is on the mound for the Dodgers. Morgan has been Los Angeles’ steadiest starter, going a minimum of six innings in 15 of his 16 starts this season. In eight of those 16 starts, he has yielded only one or fewer earned runs.

And he had won four of his past five starts as he took the mound to begin Thursday’s game.

So what happens? The Padres get to him early, scoring two in the first. With one out, Fernandez and Gwynn each singled, and McGriff followed that with two-run double to left.

The Padres got another run in the fifth, when Dodger left fielder Kal Daniels was charged with a two-base error on Howard’s fly. Two batters later, Howard scored on another Gwynn single.


Given the Padres’ three hits in the third, they should have been in command. But given the Padres’ failure to score in the third, they weren’t.

The Dodgers scored their first run on Strawberry’s first-inning homer off of Harris; they got another run in the second when Daniels doubled and scored on Carter’s single to the hole between short and third; and they scored again in the fourth when Carter doubled and eventually scored on Morgan’s sacrifice fly to center.

Morgan left with a no-decision in the seventh, having allowed four runs (three earned) and nine hits. He struck out five and walked three--one intentionally.