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Fish, Hernandez Top Brown, Padres


At about the time Kevin Brown was struggling, Livan Hernandez was turning it on to win a matchup of big-game pitchers.

Hernandez

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  • pitched a five-hitter for his seventh complete game, breaking Brown's club record, and the Marlins handed Brown his first loss since May 21 with a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

    "I started good and I wanted to finish good," Hernandez said through a translator.

    Hernandez (10-8) pitched his second complete game in three starts. He allowed two runs, struck out six and walked four.

    Hernandez, the World Series MVP, and Brown, who pitched a no-hitter for Florida last year, also matched up on May 1 in Miami, with neither getting a decision in the Marlins' 6-5 win.

    Hernandez allowed Carlos Hernandez's RBI double in the sixth that pulled San Diego to 3-2 and moved Mark Sweeney to third base with one out. But Hernandez got Chris Gomez to hit into a double play.

    In the eighth, Hernandez retired the heart of San Diego's order -- Ken Caminiti, Greg Vaughn and Wally Joyner.

    "One bad pitch, and easily the game could have been lost," Hernandez said.

    "That was just a great performance," Florida manager Jim Leyland said. "For him, the bigger the situation, the better he seems to pitch. He obviously knew he was matched up with Brownie tonight, and I'm sure that pumped him up a little bit."

    It did.

    "I like the pressure," Hernandez said. "I like the big games. ... I knew that facing Kevin Brown, he wasn't going to give up many runs, so I was going o really have to concentrate."

    Brown (14-4) was trying to win his 12th straight decision, which would have set the Padres' record.

    "You're never happy with a loss," Brown said. "I don't care how long it's been since you've lost."

    The Marlins scored three runs, two earned, on six hits off Brown in seven innings. Brown struck out seven and walked three.

    Florida scored only one run in the first inning despite two San Diego errors, a passed ball, a hit batsman and a single. The Padres, who had been tied with Atlanta for the fewest errors in the NL, committed three errors for the first time this season.

    The Marlins added two in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Cliff Floyd and Ryan Jackson singled and moved up on Kevin Orie's bunt. Gregg Zaun singled in Floyd, and Jackson scored on Luis Castillo's groundout.

    "I just wish I had done a better job later on," Brown said. "I got behind a couple of guys and made some bad pitches."

    The Marlins led 1-0 after groundballs by the first three batters. Todd Dunwoody hit a leadoff single to center, Edgar Renteria's grounder rolled through first baseman Wally Joyner's legs for an error and Mark Kotsay's grounder scored Dunwoody. Joyner fielded Kotsay's ball and flipped it to shortstop Chris Gomez for the force at second, but Gomez dropped it for an error.

    Brown struck out the next two batters, hit Orie, then struck out Zaun.

    San Diego tied the score in the fourth when Chris Gomez's fly ball off the end of his bat fell into shallow center for a single, scoring Mark Sweeney, who had doubled. The Padres pulled to 3-2 in the sixth on Carlos Hernandez's single.

    Notes

  • The Atlanta Braves, who lead the Padres by three games in the race for home-field advantage in the NL playoffs, open a three-game series here Tuesday night, their only visit to San Diego this year. Manager Bruce Bochy said the Padres didn't consider moving Brown back a day to start against the Braves Tuesday night. "At this point, you're just trying to get wins. You don't move the rotation around in August," Bochy said. The key matchup will be Wednesday night between 15-game winners Greg Maddux and Andy Ashby.
  • Edgar Renteria got a huge jump off first in the third, but Brown wheeled, ran off the mound and chased Renteria halfway back to first for the unassisted putout.
  • Padres second baseman Quilvio Veras was given the night off due to swelling of his right knee. He fouled a ball off the knee on Sunday.
  • Bochy said there's a chance Tony Gwynn can play Tuesday night. He's been out since Wednesday with a strained left Achilles' tendon.

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