One start after getting ejected in the first inning, Eaton threw
6 2/3 shutout innings as the struggling Padres broke their
five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Arizona
Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Eaton (5-7) combined with four relievers on an eight-hitter for
San Diego, which was outscored 18-2 in its previous three games,
including 15-1 against Arizona in the first two games of this
(Eaton) was outstanding," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
"That's what you need when the offense is sputtering a bit."
Although Eaton pitched last Sunday at St. Louis, this was his
first extensive work since July 8 against Los Angeles. In his last
start, Eaton was thrown out in the first inning after hitting St.
Louis' Albert Pujols with a pitch.
"It was actually nice to get a break and give the body a
rest," Eaton said. "Combined with the three days off for the
All-Star break, I feel fresh."
Eaton was sharp as he gave up six hits and allowed just two
runners to reach second base -- Luis Gonzalez in the fourth and Shea
Hillenbrand in the sixth. Eaton struck out seven, walked one and
hit one batter.
"We've seen glimpses of what (Eaton) can be when he's
healthy," Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "We got a real
good look at him tonight."
Eaton, who underwent "Tommy John" surgery in August 2001,
feels he is beginning to pitch to the level the Padres projected
for him when he made 22 starts as a rookie in 2000.
"I have been feeling really good, really confident," Eaton
said. "I feel I'm starting to pitch the way I know I can."
"My job is to get on and make things happen, and tonight, I did
just enough of it," said Vazquez, who was moved to the leadoff
spot for the first time since coming off the disabled list July 7.
Webb (7-3) had won four straight starts. He allowed only two
runs on four hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking
Eaton worked out of his only major jam in the fourth after
allowing a leadoff double to Gonzalez and hitting Hillenbrand with
a pitch. Eaton then struck out Steve Finley and Robert Hammock
before getting Matt Kata on a flyout.
"We couldn't get any hits off Eaton with men on base,"
Counsell said. "It seemed like we had runners on, but couldn't
come through with key hits."
Finley, who came into the game hitting .514 with four homers and
12 RBI against the Padres, went 1-for-4 with a single. Finley hit
a three-run homer in each of the first two games of the series.
Arizona RHP Brady Raggio will be outrighted to Triple-A
Tucson on Sunday to make room for LHP Randy Johnson, who will come
off the 15-day DL to make his first start since April 27. ...
Diamondbacks SS Alex Cintron was a late scratch from the lineup
with a right wrist strain. ... Webb has pitched at least six
innings in each of his 16 starts. This was the 10th time he has
given up two runs or less. ... Eight-time batting champion Tony
Gwynn was a guest in the luxury suite of Padres president Dick
Freeman. The visit came 21 years to the day that Gwynn made his
major league debut against Philadelphia.