SAN DIEGO — Eric Show grabbed at a piece of history again Wednesday night, his fourth try at it since May 28.
This time, almost everything worked. He battled, made some good pitches when he had to and finally corraled career victory No. 93, a 4-2 verdict over Cincinnati.
Show shoved Randy Jones into second place on the Padre all-time career victory list and helped push the Padres into the win column for just the second time this month.
"When the smoke clears on this, obviously I feel honored," Show said. "But it's humbling, relative to what the record is for other teams."
Said Manager Jack McKeon: "Actually, I expected him to have it earlier than this year. He was always capable of winning 18 to 20 games a year. He never has reached that plateau, but he's always capable.
"He's never reached 20, and he might never reach 20, but he has the stuff to reach 20. And he's had it for a number of years."
Another Padre who will remember this night is Rob Nelson, who started in place of the slumping Jack Clark at first base.
"Slump" was a familiar word to Nelson, too. He was hitless in just 13 at-bats since May 21 and was batting .188 with one home run when he stepped into the batter's box in the second inning. Two pitches later, he homered to right. Later, he added a walk (fourth inning), single (sixth) and triple (eighth). It was the first three-hit game of his career.
Put it this way: Nelson had eight total bases Wednesday evening, four shy of his total on the year.
"The ball fell in the right place," Nelson said. "Tonight, I felt like I did in spring training. I'm seeing the ball real well. I know what my role is, and that's to pinch-hit and to spell Jack (Clark) when he needs a day off."
All that helped Show (7-6) to his first victory for since May 23. Since then, he had posted two losses and a no-decision.
But Wednesday, in front of 16,562, he worked 8 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking three and striking out five.
He did it by keeping control of Eric Davis, who grounded out, singled and walked twice. A relatively harmless night from Davis, who has toasted Padre pitching this summer for five home runs and 17 runs batted in in eight games.
"We weren't going to be beaten by Eric Davis, that's for sure," pitching coach Pat Dobson said.
Show did it by holding Barry Larkin, the National League's leading hitter, to a one-for-four night.
And finally, he did it by refusing to buckle to the Reds' potent offense when they put runners on base against him in all but the sixth and seventh innings.
Show threw 81 pitches in the first three innings and 65 in the last six.
"It may have looked like I was in trouble, but I didn't feel like I was in trouble," Show said. "Most of the hits they got weren't hit that well."
Show left with one out in the ninth after allowing singles to Lenny Harris and pinch-hitter Dave Collins. Mark Davis came on and picked up his 18th save, his first since May 31.
Early on, the Padres again looked as if they would continue to suffer from the effects of luck that had led to a seven-game losing streak. Chris James, starting in left field and batting leadoff for the second night in a row, left the game on a stretcher in the top of the second after attempting to make a sliding catch of a Harris foul ball. James missed the ball and slid into the wall of the temporary seats near the Padre bullpen.
He was examined by team doctors and then taken for X-rays, which showed a bone bruise on his right leg. His status is day-to-day.
Then, the Padres left two runners on base in the first inning in ugly fashion. Cincinnati starter Jose Rijo (6-3) walked two, but with two out, Benito Santiago struck out on three pitches to end the inning. Rijo was struggling with his control and had walked two before Santiago flailed at three consecutive pitches.
The Padres, though, went ahead with two in the second. Nelson hit a leadoff homer to right, his first hit in 13 at-bats since May 21. Then Luis Salazar singled to center, stole second and went to third on Cincinnati catcher Jeff Reed's throwing error and scored on Show's single up the middle.
Show labored through the first inning, allowing a single and a walk. He was in real trouble as early as the third, when the Reds loaded the bases for Paul O'Neill with one out.
Sabo started the third with a single, and after Benzinger struck out, Barry Larkin singled and Eric Davis walked.
Up stepped O'Neill, who was batting .533 against Show. Out to the mound walked Dobson.
Show worked a full count. Then O'Neill worked Show by fouling off five consecutive pitches. Finally, he saw a pitch he liked and rifled it into right-center field. Center fielder Marvell Wynne tracked it down near the warning track for the second out, and Sabo trotted home from third.
Show walked Ken Griffey and struck out Reed, leaving the bases loaded and the score 2-1. He threw 42 pitches in the inning.