san diego – Tony Gwynn Jr., of all people, delivered the hit that allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to finally beat the San Diego Padres in a game that took nearly 24 hours to complete.
Gwynn singled in the go-ahead run against his former team with two outs in the 11th inning Saturday and the Dodgers won 4-2 in a game that had been suspended at 1:40 a.m. after four rain delays totaling 3 hours, 36 minutes.
The game resumed at 5:35 p.m. on a chilly but clear evening, and ended at 6:55 p.m.
Gwynn, the son of Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, entered during a double switch in the bottom of the ninth. With two on in the 11th, he hit a soft liner on a two-strike pitch from sidearmer Pat Neshek that dropped in front of right fielder Will Venable. That brought in Juan Uribe, who was aboard on a leadoff double against Ernesto Frieri (0-1). Gwynn took second on the throw home.
Gwynn, who hit only .204 with the Padres last year, has thought plenty about coming up with big hits at Petco Park.
“I’ve envisioned it, but it definitely wasn’t under the circumstances that we’re in now,” Gwynn said.
After the Padres traded for center fielder Cameron Maybin in November, Gwynn wasn’t offered a contract to return. He signed as a free agent with the rival Dodgers.
“It’s kind of nice, the fact he played here,” Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. “You actually think about that a little bit. You don’t put him in the spot to do it, but its nice when does.”
The fans gave Gwynn a mixed reception when he was announced during the double switch.
“I expected that,” he said. “When the Padres are playing against the Dodgers, it becomes more about the name on the front of the jersey than it does on the back. I wouldn’t expect them to do anything different.”