Valdez Casts Fog Over Expos

On a foggy night at Petco, Mark Loretta hit a two run home run in the bottom of the first inning and Miguel Ojeda continued his dominance of Expos pitching with an RBI as Ismael Valdez cruised to 3-0, pitching eight innings of shutout ball as the San Diego Padres won 3-0.

"He's technically the fifth starter but he's been a quality pitcher for us. He's given us quality innings every time out," Mark Loretta said.

In the bottom of the first, Sean Burroughs led off with a single. With an 0-2 count, Burroughs fought back in the count to 3-2, fouling off three pitches before getting one he could handle, the ninth pitch of the count. Loretta followed with a homer to left on a 2-2 pitch. It was the fourth homer of the season for Loretta.

Miguel Ojeda singled in Ryan Klesko in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. Klesko had singled after Phil Nevin wiped out the bases by hitting into a double play. Jay Payton followed with a walk before Ojeda added his two out single.

Ismael Valdez, meanwhile, cruised over eight innings. He allowed just four hits on the evening and he did not allow a baserunner to reach third base. He threw 112 pitches, striking out two and lowered his ERA to 2.42.

"It's a combination of good run support, good defense and making my pitches," Valdez said. "It's a combination of everything. It's not just me, it's the whole team.

"I was locating my fastball in and out. I had a good breaking ball and I was making my pitches at the right time and hit my spots."

Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 4th save of the season.


Today's pitcher-catcher combination of RHP Ismael Valdez (Ciudad Victoria) and C Miguel Ojeda (Sonora) is just the fourth all-Mexican pitcher/catcher starting combination in Major League history. This was the third teaming of the duo who first joined forces on April 17 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ojeda became the 13th Mexican native to play for the Padres when he made his Major League debut on May 17, 2003.

In 38.0 innings behind the plate this season, Ojeda has a catcher's ERA of 1.18 (5 ER/38.0 IP).

On April 5 of this year at Los Angeles, Valdez became the 14th Mexican native to don a Padres uniform and was joined later than afternoon by reliever Antonio Osuna (Sinaloa) who became the 15th.

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