SAN DIEGO — Garry Templeton had been in such a slump lately that he thought there might be a hole in his bat.
My, how that hole disappeared in a hurry.
When Templeton came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, the Padres had two runners on base with two out. Templeton had been hitless in his last 13 at-bats.
He hit Ron Robinson's first pitch for a single to center. Jerry Royster scored from second to give the Padres a 2-1 victory over Cincinnati before 19,316 fans at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
Templeton was the evening's hero, but he was not the Padres' only breath of fresh air.
Starting pitcher Dave Dravecky, sidelined nine days with a sore elbow, pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits.
Dravecky had kept the Padres in the game, and Goose Gossage was the winning pitcher with two innings of two-hit relief.
But if not for timely defense and hitting by Templeton, the Padres would have lost.
In the top of the eighth, the Reds had runners on first and third with one out. Tony Perez hit a grounder up the middle, only to have Templeton make a nice stop near second base, touch the bag and turn the double play.
"They had been hitting the ball up the middle a lot," Templeton said. "That inning, I decided to move a little farther up the middle."
In the bottom of the ninth, Templeton hit the ball up the middle. But he hit a liner to short center, where no Cincinnati player had a chance to catch it.
"You like to be in a situation where you have a chance to win the game," Templeton said. "It makes you concentrate a little more. The pressure is on the pitcher to get you out. I went up there to hit the ball hard. I had been struggling lately. I thought I had a hole in my bat."
Often Tuesday, Cincinnati batters had to wonder whether they had holes in their bats in pressure situations.
Dravecky allowed runners to advance to scoring position in five of the first seven innings. But the Reds' only run came in the second when Eric Davis hit an infield single, stole second and third and scored on Perez's broken-bat single.
Davis is a double threat: He can steal bases (56) and hit home runs (15).
But alone, he wasn't enough to beat Dravecky.
The Padres were simply thankful that Dravecky left because he was tired, not because of another elbow flare up. The pitcher had been forced to leave after five innings in each of his two previous starts.
"David threw the ball much better tonight," Manager Steve Boros said. "He got a little tired late. I thought that was the best he's thrown the ball in a month, maybe five or six weeks."
Dravecky pitched out of numerous jams.
In the third and fifth, Cincinnati left runners on second. In the fourth and seventh, Cincinnati left runners on first and third.
In the eighth, Boros said Dravecky needed to retire leadoff batter Dave Parker to remain in the game.
Parker singled. Gossage came in.
Davis followed with a fielder's choice. Bo Diaz executed a hit-and-run single to right to advance Davis to third. But Perez followed with his double-play ball to Templeton.
After Cincinnati's run in the second, Marvell Wynne tied the score with his sixth homer of the year in the fifth.
Tony Gwynn's aggressive baserunning nearly put the Padres ahead in the sixth.
Gwynn led off with a single. He advanced to third on Kevin McReynolds' sacrifice bunt after running with the pitch.
Steve Garvey then hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Kurt Stillwell, who was playing in to prevent the run. Stillwell knocked the ball down and threw Garvey out. Gwynn tried to score, but he was thrown out by first baseman Perez.
"When (Gwynn) saw Stillwell wasn't coming to third, he took off," Boros said. "It was an instinctive play. You can't fault him at all. The throw was in the dirt and Diaz made a great play."
In the ninth, San Diego was much more cautious in its baserunning.
Graig Nettles drew a one-out walk, and Royster pinch-ran. Royster has a swollen knee, but Royster with a swollen knee is still faster than a healthy Nettles.
After Bruce Bochy struck out, Wynne's two-out single to center advanced Royster to second.
Up came Templeton. Down went the Reds.
"It's nice to score that run with a two-out hit," Boros said. "That's something we hadn't done too much before."
The Padres have won two straight. That's something they hadn't done since before the All-Star break.
With Eric Show coming off the disabled list, Manager Steve Boros said the Padres will temporarily use a six-man pitching rotation. "We'll do it one time through the rotation," Boros said. "Then, we'll make a decision. We might push Lance (McCullers) back, and we could use him in the bullpen. I don't want to get into that. It's all speculation."
PADRES AT A GLANCE
Scorecard SECOND INNING Reds--Davis singled to short and stole second. Diaz grounded to short. Davis stole third. Perez singled to right, Davis scoring. Esasky flied to right. Oester forced Perez at second. One run, two hits, one left.
Padres--Wynne homered to right-center, his sixth. Templeton struck out. Dravecky flied to right. Flannery walked and was caught stealing. One run, one hit.
Padres--With one out, Nettles walked. Royster ran for Nettles. Bochy struck out. Wynne singled to center, Royster stopping at second. Templeton singled to center, Royster scoring. One run, two hits, two left.