Cabrera steals home in Padres' win over Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) Everth Cabrera saw his chance - and took it with an audacious steal of home.
That tied the game and forced a miscue that won it for the San Diego Padres. Will Venable came around when closer Kenley Jansen threw the ball past catcher A.J. Ellis, leading the San Diego Padres to a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
"I had my eyes on the play the whole time. It was just a crazy play," Venable said. "He kept going, so I just went along with him and we ended up stealing one from them."
Jansen (4-3) ended up with his fourth blown save opportunity in 20 chances.
Yonder Alonso and Venable sparked the winning rally with consecutive singles, putting runners on the corners with none out. Jansen then struck out Cameron Maybin at the end of a grueling 11-pitch at-bat and retired pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay on a popup after Venable stole second.
Alexi Amarista worked the count to 2-2, and Cabrera saw an opening while Jansen kicked the dirt in front of the rubber a couple of times with his back turned away from third. He dashed for home and a stunned Jansen threw the ball all the way to the screen, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Plate umpire Greg Gibson immediately called Cabrera out, but changed the call once he noticed Ellis didn't have the ball.
"It all happened in a flash," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But that's Cabby. He's that type of player. He's aggressive and fun to watch."
Ellis had been the one making the alert play to win the game just months before.
On April 15, he started an around-the-horn triple play against the Padres in the ninth inning after Jesus Guzman backed away from a high and tight pitch and the ball hit his bat and landed in front of the plate.
The baserunners stayed put, thinking it was a foul ball - as did Guzman. But plate umpire Dale Scott did not make any gesture that the ball was foul, and Ellis seized the moment. The Dodgers ended up winning that game 5-4 on Dee Gordon's single in the bottom half.
But on this occasion, Ellis took full responsibility for what happened to the Dodgers and refused to put the blame on Jansen.
"We just got that big second strike on their guy and the crowd got fired up and really loud," Ellis said. "I had my head down and just made a mistake. I need to be more heads-up and pay more attention. You can never let your guard down. I've got to be more responsible there. So that was on me. We were one strike away from winning that game, and you've got to be ready for anything."
Andre Ethier had four RBIs for the Dodgers in his second game off the disabled list, belting a tiebreaking two-run homer and a pair of RBI singles. Aaron Harang allowed four runs, three earned, and four hits over seven innings against his former team.
The Padres tied it at 4 in the sixth when Chase Headley hit his ninth home run.
But the NL West leaders responded in the bottom half against rookie reliever Brad Brach. Matt Kemp reached on a two-out infield single for his fifth hit in eight at-bats since coming off the DL, and Ethier sent his 11th homer to right-center.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez threw 111 pitches over five innings, giving up four runs, eight hits and four walks while striking out six.
Ethier, who leads the Dodgers with 59 RBIs, tied it at 1 in the first with a bloop RBI single. Ethier singled home Bobby Abreu with the bases loaded in the third before Volquez forced in another run with a walk to Juan Rivera. The right-hander, who leads the majors with 67 walks, minimized the damage by retiring his next three batters.
Quentin hit a leadoff homer to center field in the fourth, his eighth this season, but the Dodgers got that run back in the fifth on Adam Kennedy's RBI double.
Kennedy started at third base in place of Juan Uribe, who is in a 1-for-33 slump and has only five home runs in 401 at-bats with the Dodgers - after hitting a career-high 24 in 2010 with San Francisco.
NOTES: This was the first time this season that Headley and Quentin, the Padres' 3-4 hitters, homered in the same game. ... Guerra was placed on the bereavement list and returned to his native Mexico, where his father had a heart attack Friday night. RHP Josh Wall, who has yet to appear in a big league game, was promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill the roster spot.
Updated July 15, 2012