LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jesse Hahn has given the San Diego Padres more than they bargained for when they acquired him and reliever Alex Torres during the winter in seven-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Hahn pitched six solid innings Friday night, Carlos Quentin drove in three runs and Alexi Amarista homered to lead the Padres to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Jesse's been a pleasant surprise, no doubt about it," manager Bud Black said. "You never know what to expect from a young player. But we liked what we saw in spring training, as far as the makeup and his stuff."
"We know where he's been the last couple of years, coming off Tommy John surgery. Having him on a slower track, our scouts and our front office really felt that there was something in this guy," he said.
Hahn (5-2) allowed a run and three hits, struck out six and walked four in his seventh major league start. The 24-year-old right-hander has a 1.46 ERA over his last six outings since Pittsburgh beat him 4-1 on June 3 in his big league debut at Petco Park.
"I had a little bit of adrenaline going, but after that first inning I kind of calmed down and was able to throw strikes," said Hahn, who fared well with this curveball and two-seam fastball. "This is the first year I've been able to throw deep into games, and I'm still getting used to that. Being able to go six or seven is going to help me build my confidence."
"When you just throw the ball and let them hit it, knowing that you've got a great defense behind you, it makes pitching a lot easier," he added. "And it's always easier when you have a big league like that because you can go ahead and attack the hitters."
Padres right-hander Blaine Boyer took over for Hahn, giving up a leadoff double to Drew Butera and a walk to Carl Crawford. That ended Boyer's season-opening string of 26 consecutive plate appearances by right-handed batters without a hit or a walk — the longest such streak since STATS began tracking data in 1974.
First-time All-Star Yasiel Puig chased Boyer with an RBI double, the first run off him this season in 14 innings. Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly against Torres, but Quentin turned it into an inning-ending double play by throwing to third baseman Chase Headley for the tag on the over-aggressive Puig after Dee Gordon crossed the plate.
"They were knocking on the door in that inning and put Blaine in a little bit of a crisis, so we had to go to Alex," Black said. "He got the flyball from Gonzo, and Carlos got behind that ball and made a nice strong throw. If Puig doesn't go, obviously we have to get another out. So that was a huge play for us."
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