On a night when Dale Murphy became the all-time home run leader for the Atlanta Braves, San Diego manager Jake McKeon chose to play it safe when it mattered most Friday.
With his Padres up 5-3 in the ninth and Murphy at the plate, McKeon decided winning starter Bruce Hurst - who earlier had surrendered a homer to the Atlantaslugger - needed help.McKeon promptly sent in reliever Mark Davis, who struck out Murphy and hurled a scoreless inning to notch his eighth save in eight appearances and preserve the 5-3 victory for San Diego.
"I didn't want to take a chance with Murphy," McKeon said. "He (Hurst) did a helluva job. If Murphy wasn't coming up, I probably would have left him in there. He's a pro every time he goes out there."
Hurst, 2-1, surrendered six hits over eight innings to earn the win. The lefthander struck out three, walked one and gave up a two-run homer to Murphy, his second of the year.
The fourth inning blast - which gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead in the fourth - was the 336th homer of Murphy's career, moving him past Hank Aaron as the all-time Atlanta home run leader.
"It felt good to hit one good, but it would have been nice to hit another one good in the end," Murphy said. "It's an honor to be here and to have done something like that. I appreciate the chance the Braves have given me to play."
San Diego's Benito Santiago provided the margin of victory, doubling home two runs with two out in the eighth inning.