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Tony Gwynn Jr. makes it homecoming to remember for himself and Dodgers in 4-2, 11-inning win

Gwynn_350 How do you like me now?

Tony Gwynn Jr. was unceremoniously cast off by San Diego in the offseason, despite being the son of the most iconic of all Padres. Theory was it had something to do with his .204 batting average.

The Dodgers signed him primarily for his defensive ability. No one for a millisecond considered him an impact signing.

But Saturday evening Gwynn came back to San Diego, where he still lives, and provided the biggest impact on the game suspended in the ninth inning Friday night, lining a single into right to score the go-ahead run and lead the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory in 11 innings.

It was a game that used 39 players, including 15 pitchers. Including the four rain delays on Friday, the game took almost eight hours to complete. There were nine stolen bases.

And one unlikely hero in Gwynn.

Gwynn had wondered how he would be received upon his return, but when he trotted out to left field in the ninth at the restart of Friday’s game, he essentially received no reaction at all. Like the crowd didn’t even notice.

That came later.

Gywnn singled in his first at-bat in the ninth, a mere prelude. Juan Uribe, who had left men on base in all four of his previous at-bats, doubled to lead off the 11th inning. James Loney, unable to bunt Uribe to third, popped up. After reliever Ernesto Frieri hit pinch-hitter Aaron Miles, Pat Neshek took over pitching duties and struck out Rod Barajas.

Which brought up Gwynn, and his unexpected heroics. Neshek then fired a wild pitch and Miles scored to give the Dodgers a two-run lead.

Jonathan Broxton saved it for Blake Hawksworth, and the Dodgers had their most bizarre victory of the young season.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers left fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. watches his run-scoring single fall into right field in the top of the 11th inning Saturday evening at San Diego. Credit: Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (5)

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Speaking of Uribe, when I saw his and Loney's batting averages, I thought I was looking at two pitchers by mistake - .150 and .179 respectively?

That must be an exciting moment to come through against your old team and in your own hometown especially after they let you go during the off season. He really looks good and is a much better fielder than Juan Pierre and has a fantastic arm. He has everything Juanpy lacks except power.

Can we just end the uribe experiment now? He's batting a buck-20 with half dozen Ks in 25 at-bats. That was a 3-year deal wasn't it? Carroll (20 at-bats) is hitting .400 (8-for-20), with .478 on-base. Blake is still hitting .364, though I'm sure it'll ease down eventually.

No clue for Furcal's .208. He may not have one either. Makes me wonder if he's playing hurt already. Gwynn is up to .353 so play him as long as he's hitting. Maybe it'll be like peanut butter and stick somehow.

Our .255 average is 8th of 16 in the NL, 15th of 30 in MLB. Except for the fact we're 5-3 and half game out of first, I'm tipping my hat today to my fellow friends here saying we're destined for .500 baseball. We've got the batting part covered.

Five days without a win. One day with two wins. Its time for Dodgers baseball.

Don't know how bizarre this victory was compared to the others where they needed the other team's help to win. Against ML average defense this team has 1 maybe 2 wins. We aren't going to get very far with the 5 and 6 "hitters" not even managing .150/.175.

Many players become complacent once they lock in to a big contract. That's why baseball contracts should be built on incentives.


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