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It's a Different Tune for Padres One Night Later

After a crushing loss in L.A., they take a relaxed approach and beat Arizona, 5-2, to regain first place in the National League West.

September 20, 2006|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Five minutes into what could have been an excruciating drive home from Dodger Stadium early Tuesday, Jake Peavy and David Wells were Movin' On.

The San Diego Padres teammates cranked up Bad Company on the car stereo and sang along spiritedly, with Peavy playing air drums and Wells jamming his bald head to the 1970s rock.

"We just talked about hunting and life, and I think that's what we needed," Peavy said.

About an hour earlier, they had watched from the dugout in disbelief as the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning to rally from a four-run deficit, then won it in the 10th on Nomar Garciaparra's two-run walk-off homer.

But Peavy and Wells soon realized that agonizing over every detail of a crushing defeat would move them no closer to a second consecutive National League West title. So they dialed up the decibels and soothed themselves as best they could.

The good vibes continued to reverberate Tuesday evening. The Padres were back in first place in the division after a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park.

Mike Cameron hit a three-run homer in a four-run first inning and Clay Hensley pitched six strong innings to help San Diego reclaim the half a game lead it had held over the Dodgers before its meltdown Monday.

"That's what we needed to bounce back," Manager Bruce Bochy said, "and we did it."

In the ninth inning, the Padres were comforted by another familiar song, AC/DC's "Hell's Bells," which accompanies closer Trevor Hoffman's entrance from the bullpen. One night after surrendering homers on consecutive pitches in the ninth inning, Hoffman worked a perfect ninth to notch his 40th save.

"You can go home or come back the next day," said Hoffman, who needs three more saves to surpass Lee Smith's all-time record of 478. "We came back with a win."

Said Cameron: "We'll let you guys keep talking about the 'Instant Classic' game [Monday] night. We'll try to keep winning."

Asked whether he would watch Monday's game once it inevitably aired on ESPN Classic, Bochy said, "No, I've seen it, I've been there. I'll probably just get some bamboo shoots and stick them in my fingernails before I'm watching that game.

"I remember [former Dodgers manager Tommy] Lasorda once said, 'You know, some losses are so tough.' He said he was in Philadelphia walking around one time and he was just hoping someone would kill him. I wasn't at that stage. Not far, but not there."

*

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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