"Ayala owns me," Ojeda, the San Diego Padres' backup catcher,
said with a smile after paying back his countryman on Monday night.
Ojeda hit Ayala's hanging slider for a bloop RBI single with two
outs in the ninth inning to give the Padres a 3-2 win over the
"It's better to get a game-winning hit in the big leagues,"
Ojeda said. "It's a big, big hit. I'm trying to take my best shot
every time I go up to hit."
Ojeda hit the first pitch he saw from Ayala (0-3) into
left-center field. Jay Payton started the winning rally with a
single to left and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Adam
Eaton, who pinch-hit for Akinori Otsuka (2-1). Khalil Greene flied
out to right, bringing up Ojeda, who entered as a pinch-hitter in
the seventh and stayed in as catcher.
Otsuka threw two perfect innings, striking out one. He lowered
his ERA to 0.82.
"He's been outstanding," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We needed
someone to shut them down and he did it. He's saved us a few times
Bochy was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing with plate
umpire Joe Brinkman after Livan Hernandez was awarded first on
Hernandez popped up a bunt and had to jump over reliever Scott
Linebrink, who was sprawled across the base path after sliding feet
first while unsuccessfully trying to catch the ball. Catcher Ramon
Hernandez threw out Hernandez, but manager Frank Robinson argued
with first base umpire Tim Tschida and the call was changed.
The Expos rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the
sixth and chase Padres starter Jake Peavy.
Jose Vidro hit an RBI double off the front of the home run porch
in right and was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Brad Wilkerson doubled and scored on Tony Batista's single down the
Hernandez, who's dominated the Padres during his career, held
them hitless for 3 2-3 innings, then gave up a walk and three
straight hits to fall behind 2-0. San Diego's first run scored when
Jay Payton hit an infield single that bounced over Hernandez and
was knocked down on Vidro's backhand attempt.
"That one inning, you have to roll your eyes," Expos catcher
Brian Schneider said. "They didn't hit the ball hard that inning.
But a hit's a hit and a run's a run."
Said Robinson: "What more can you ask from a guy? The three
hits he gave up in that inning were not crushed."
Hernandez allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings,
struck out six and walked three. Peavy struck out seven in 5 2-3
innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He walked one.
The crowd of 25,438 was the smallest in 10 games at
42,500-seat Petco Park. The previous smallest was 34,558 against
Los Angeles on April 14. ... 3B Sean Burroughs missed his second
straight start with a sprained ankle sustained Saturday night while
coming out of the batter's box at Arizona. Ramon Vazquez started in
his place for the second consecutive game. ... INF Jeff Cirillo
took batting practice for the first time since fracturing his right
index finger during the last week of spring training. ... OF
Valentino Pascucci made his major league debut after he was
recalled by the Expos from Triple-A Edmonton. He started in right
field and walked in his first plate appearance.