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Gwynn Comes to the Rescue of the Padres

June 02, 1997|From Associated Press

Suffering from a pulled hamstring, Tony Gwynn came off the bench and singled home two runs and Ken Caminiti hit a two-run double as the San Diego Padres rallied in the eighth inning Sunday to defeat the Houston Astros, 6-3, at Houston.

Mike Hampton had a one-hit shutout through seven innings when the Padres overcame a 3-0 deficit in the eighth for their third win in a row.

"Any loss is frustrating," Hampton said. "I pitched good enough through seven. I just couldn't hold them in the eighth.

"We're a better team than we've played lately," he added. "We're not getting many good breaks and we're getting too many bad ones."

Carlos Hernandez singled to begin the eighth and pinch-hitter Quilvio Veras doubled. Gwynn, who did not start because of the sore hamstring, followed with a two-run single.

With two outs, Steve Finley singled off Billy Wagner (2-3). Caminiti hit a grounder that took a bad bounce off the lip of the third-base dirt and skipped into the corner for a 4-3 lead.

Caminiti, who played third base for the Astros from 1987-94, knows the hazards of trying to field hard-hit balls in that uncertain dirt.

"You can't field that ball," Caminiti said. "Unless you get lucky."

Luck is something that hasn't been going Caminiti's way this season. Last year's National League most valuable player, he was on the disabled list because of a pulled right hamstring from May 12 until last Tuesday, and entered Sunday's game batting .235. Going into the eighth, he was mired in a one-for-15 slump.

"That was just a good hop for me," Caminiti said. "I was lucky it hit the dirt. But I'll take it as bad as I've been struggling."

Reliever Trevor Hoffman got his first hit since 1995, a single during the Padres' two-run ninth.

Doug Bochtler (1-2) got two outs and the victory. Hoffman pitched 1 1/3 innings for his eighth save.

Hampton pitched a season-high 7 1/3 innings. After Finley tripled and Caminiti walked in the first, Hampton retired 19 of the next 20 batters.

Hampton drew a walk from Joey Hamilton in the second and scored on a double by Craig Biggio, who extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. Thomas Howard followed with an RBI single.

Biggio walked in the fourth and later scored on a single by Jeff Bagwell.



WHO: Houston Astros

WHERE: at Houston

WHEN: Monday: 5 p.m., Tuesday: 10:30 a.m.

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