March 31, 2014 in Sports

Smith, Denorfia lift Padres to 3-1 win over L.A.

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

The Padres’ Seth Smith is greeted at the dugout after his game-tying home run against the Dodgers.
(Full-size photo)

Hey, big spender

 A study of big league contracts by the Associated Press shows the Los Angeles Dodgers set a record with an opening-day payroll of $234 million Sunday.

 The New York Yankees were a distant second at $199 million, ending their streak of six straight openers above the $200 million mark.

 The Dodgers spent more than five times the total of the Houston Astros, who at $45 million were last for the second straight year. Seattle was 18th at $92 million.

For complete list, see Scoreboard /B4

SAN DIEGO – For one day at least, the moderate-payroll San Diego Padres are in first place in the N.L. West, ahead of the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers.

Seth Smith hit a towering drive for a tying homer leading off the eighth and Chris Denorfia singled home two runs to give the Padres a 3-1 victory against the rival Dodgers in baseball’s North American opener Sunday night.

Smith’s first hit with the Padres came on a 2-0 pitch from Brian Wilson, who started the eighth after Hyun-Jin Ryu threw seven scoreless innings. It sailed an estimated 360 feet into the right-field seats. It was his seventh career pinch-hit homer. He was acquired in an offseason trade with Oakland for reliever Luke Gregerson.

Wilson (0-1) walked pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, who advanced when the veteran reliever couldn’t handle Everth Cabrera’s bunt for an error. Grandal stole third and Cabrera took second on indifference before Denorfia hit a bouncer up the middle to bring them both in.

“They’re all just one game, but when you’re facing a team like the Dodgers, full of great players, Brian Wilson, a guy who knows how to get it done in those situations, it’s not easy to do what our hitters did,” said Huston Street, who pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Dale Thayer pitched a perfect eighth for the win.

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