YUMA, Ariz. — Padre catcher Mark Parent got a chance to flex his muscles late on a chilly Friday night in Desert Sun Stadium.
Parent went into action after Oakland A's slugger Jose Canseco, angered by an inside pitch from Lance McCullers, muttered something and stalked toward the mound.
Parent grabbed Canseco and prevented a brawl, even though the A's came onto the field and stood around for a minute or so.
After Parent's peace-keeping effort, the Padres beat the A's, 4-3, on a run-scoring single by Carmelo Martinez in the 10th inning.
Parent said the pitch to Canseco wasn't close to hitting him.
"It was up and in, but that's where you have to pitch him," Parent said. "If he gets mad about every pitch like that, he'll be fighting a lot.
"What are we going to do, throw him all changeups and sliders away and let him hit them over center field?"
Manager Larry Bowa said the Padres were not throwing at Canseco.
"There's no point in it," he said. "These games mean nothing."
After 10 games in Phoenix, the Padres were ready to get "home" to Yuma.
In the case of Tony Gwynn, make that dying to get home.
Gwynn regards the club's extended stay in the Phoenix area as something of a waste of time.
The problem with being away from the Yuma training complex, as Gwynn sees it, is that the Padres don't have a practice field available for daily workouts. As a result, their regimen closely resembles the regular season--go to the ballpark, take batting practice, play a game and return to the hotel.
That's not what spring training is supposed to be, and not what the Padres need, Gwynn said before Friday night's game.
"When we're in Phoenix, there's no time or opportunity to work on fundamentals," Gwynn said. "So when we get back to Yuma, it's almost like starting over again. I know that I'm behind where I'd like to be."
A pulled rib-cage muscle has sidelined Gwynn for a few days. He said that once he heals, he needs to hone his swing.
With four diamonds here, there's plenty of time for extra hitting while other players work, according to Gwynn.
General Manager Jack McKeon takes a different view of the spring agenda.
He agreed with Gwynn that it would be beneficial to have a practice field available in Phoenix when the Padres make their annual visit next spring. It's likely that the Padres will borrow a local college field for daily workouts before their exhibition games.
But McKeon doesn't regard the team's 10-day sojourns to Phoenix as a problem.
"What it does is eliminate the hassle of a lot of long bus rides," McKeon said. "I think if the players were objective, they would take it this way rather than make a lot of four- and five-hour bus trips. They would be complaining about the bus rides if they had to make a lot of them, I'll bet."
Storm Davis, who started against the A's Friday night, worked five innings, allowing three runs and five hits. Oakland third baseman Mark McGwire slugged a two-run homer off him in the third inning. Manager Larry Bowa was generally pleased with Davis, except for his tendency to get behind hitters in the early innings. Bowa said the home run came on a good pitch, down in the strike zone. . . . Bowa also was pleased with the relief work of Ed Wojna, Craig Lefferts, Lance McCullers and Tom Gorman. . . .
The Padres and A's meet again today at 1:05 p.m. Dave Stewart, Rick Rodriguez and Steve Ontiveros are scheduled to pitch for the A's, with Jimmy Jones, Ray Hayward and Goose Gossage for the Padres. . . . Sunday's game against Cleveland will be televised in San Diego on KUSI, Ch. 51, beginning at 1:05 p.m. . . . The Padres have scored 48 runs in their last six games, with 77 hits, including 45 in the last three games. . . . Steve Garvey, who took the night off, was 7 for 13 in his last four games.