Cameron falls single short of cycle; Padres spank Dodgers

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Mike Cameron needed just a single to join elite company. A 3-0 pitch in the seventh inning looked good, but baseball etiquette dictated that he let it go by.

"You can't swing 3-0 when you're up by eight runs or whatever. It's a good way to get yourself hurt the next day," Cameron said.

Translation: Becoming the first Padres player to hit for the cycle wasn't worth the risk of taking a pitch in the ribs the next game.

Cameron had three hits, including a three-run homer, but missed hitting for the cycle by a single as he led the San Diego Padres to a 9-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Chan Ho Park dominated his former team for six innings.

"It would have been nice, man -- I don't think too many guys have hit four home runs in a game and hit for the cycle," said Cameron, who hit four home runs on May 2, 2002, while with the Seattle Mariners.

The only players to have a four-homer game and hit for the cycle in their career are Lou Gehrig, Gil Hodges and Chuck Klein.

"Probably the hardest thing is getting the triple," Cameron said. "I've done it where I couldn't get the triple before, a couple of times."

Cameron hit a three-run shot to left off reliever Jae Seo with one out in the fifth to give the Padres an 8-1 lead. Rookie Josh Barfield was aboard with a leadoff double and Dave Roberts was on with a one-out walk. It was Cameron's third.

Cameron bounced a double in front of the fence in right-center in the second and tripled off the center-field fence in the fourth.

When Cameron came to bat with one out in the seventh needing a single for the cycle, many in the crowd of 30,371 stood and cheered. They booed after Odalis Perez ran the count to 3-0. After taking the fourth pitch for a strike, Cameron walked and the crowd booed again.

"I was definitely looking to hit 3-1, but he didn't throw me any strikes," Cameron said.

After 5,933 games in 38 seasons, the Padres still haven't had a player hit for the cycle.

"I know it would have been special, but hopefully the opportunity rolls around again," Cameron said.

"That's an exciting at-bat," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We were all pulling for him, and the fans got into it to. That was neat to see how they got behind him and knew what was going on there. He just couldn't get a pitch there, and he's going to take 3-0. But what a game he had."

The Padres won for just the third time in eight games. The Dodgers came in with sole possession of the NL West lead, but dropped into a tie with Arizona, which beat San Francisco.

Eric Young hit his first career pinch homer with one out in the seventh while batting for Park. It was his first this year.

Park (4-3), who pitched full-time for the Dodgers from 1996-2001, held Los Angeles to one run and three hits, struck out five and walked three. He won for the second time in six starts, a span that included two losses and two no-decisions. He retired the first nine Dodgers batters and faced one over the minimum through

Park allowed Los Angeles' only run in the fifth. Jeff Kent, who came off the disabled list earlier in the day as closer Eric Gagne went on the injured list, doubled with one out and scored on rookie Russell Martin's two-out single.

The Padres scored four unearned runs in the first, thanks to two errors by shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Furcal's high throw to first for an error allowed Cameron to reach with one out. Brian Giles singled and Mike Piazza walked to load the bases against Aaron Sele (3-1). With two outs, Furcal bobbled Khalil Greene's grounder for an error, allowing Cameron to score. Vinny Castilla cleared the bases with a drive that bounced off the center field fence after Kenny Lofton misjudged it.

"When you play the game, that happens," Furcal said. "I made some mistakes."

Said manager Grady Little: "The second error was the result of thinking about the first one. You see it every day in the game of baseball."

Piazza hit a sacrifice fly in the second for a 5-0 lead.

Sele allowed five runs -- one earned -- and six hits in four innings. He walked five and struck out none.

Game notes
Gagne was placed on the 15-day DL because of stiffness in his surgically repaired pitching elbow. The RHP went on the DL retroactive to June 7, the day after his second appearance of the season. Gagne had surgery April 7 to remove a nerve from his right elbow, his second operation in less than a year. The nerve that was removed was the same one that was moved during a season-ending operation on June 24, 2005. ... Kent had been on the DL with a sprained left wrist. ... Padres reliever Doug Brocail, who has twice had an angioplasty since the start of spring training, said his goal is to be pitching in the big leagues by the end of the month. He threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and said everything went well. He said he'll hopefully go on a minor league rehab assignment next week. ... Martin has a 10-game hitting streak.