SAN DIEGO (AP) -
blew 'em away as he rang in the post-
era in San Diego.
Bell, who took over as closer after Hoffman's awkward offseason departure, struck out the side in the ninth inning to save
the Padres' 4-2 win over the
Los Angeles Dodgers
on Tuesday night.
It was the first save opportunity this season for Bell, promoted to closer after Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader,
signed with Milwaukee. It was also the first win since former agent Jeff Moorad and his ownership group took control of 35
percent of the team.
After a decade of watching Hoffman jog in to AC/DC's ''Hells Bells,'' Padres fans got their first taste of Bell jogging to
the mound in a heavy mist, accompanied by ''Blow Me Away'' by Breaking Benjamin, from the soundtrack to the video game Halo
''It felt like I was running on air when I jogged in because the crowd went nuts,'' Bell said. ''That's probably what Hoffy
felt like all the time. I didn't think they were going to be that loud for me when I was just jogging out, so that was pretty
cool to have the fans all behind me.''
Bell struck out
, then struck out pinch-hitter
After nailing down his third career save, Bell got an emphatic high-five from catcher
and the two chest-bumped.
''I felt really good. I just kept telling myself, 'Stay back, keep the ball down because it's raining, the wind's starting
to howl right now,''' Bell said. ''What are the odds for me to replace an icon and the weather is not so nice? I just wanted
to go down there and make pitches and get everybody out.''
Bell finished a combined five-hitter, with three relievers pitching three hitless innings to preserve the win for
The Padres pulled their $4 million contract offer to Hoffman in November and he signed a $6 million deal with Milwaukee.
Hoffman has 554 saves, all but two of them with the Padres.
''That means 11 straight years of 50 saves and I'll be one behind him,'' Bell quipped.
Young said Bell looked sharp and aggressive.
''It was great to see Heath. I'm happy for him. We have complete confidence in him,'' Young said. ''It's a little different
than it's been in the past, obviously, for San Diego fans, but Belly's a great teammate and he's going to get it done.''
It was a big night overall for San Diego's bullpen, which was one of the team's biggest question marks coming out of spring
, making his big league debut, escaped a jam in the seventh by getting
to pop up to first base, ending the inning with two runners on.
After going hitless on opening day, Ramirez doubled and scored Los Angeles' first run. He finished 1-for-4. He stranded two
runners in scoring position.
''We had opportunities,'' manager
said. ''We had Manny up there with first and second. I'll take my chances with that, even once a game.''
hit a two-run double in the sixth and the Padres beat former teammate
''It was a good all-around win for the organization,'' Moorad said. ''I think the club showed some resilience and tenacity
After wasting chances for big innings earlier Tuesday night and in Monday's 4-1 loss, the Padres broke through with a three-run
sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
singled to open the inning and scored when Headley hit a grounder just inside third base that rolled into the left-field corner.
Headley tagged up and went to third when second baseman
's foul pop down the right-field line. After Hundley walked, Headley scored on
's sacrifice fly.
Ramirez doubled to right-center off Young leading off the fourth and scored on
's double to left-center with one out. Martin scored on Blake's sacrifice fly.
Young held Los Angeles to two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out five and walked two.
Moreno replaced him in the seventh and promptly walked Blake. Pinch-hitter
grounded out before Furcal walked. Moreno struck out Hudson and got Ramirez to pop up to end the threat.
San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the second when Kouzmanoff hit a leadoff triple that bounced off right fielder
's glove as he tried to make a leaping catch against the wall. Kouzmanoff scored on Hairston's one-out double.
Wolf (0-1) allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out three and walked three.
''All game I was falling behind in the count,'' Wolf said. ''I have to make better pitches, especially in situations with
Notes: The Padres are expected to name Tom Garfinkel their new president and chief operating officer on Wednesday. He resigned
Saturday as the
' executive vice president and COO. ... Padres RHP
is scheduled to make his big league debut on Wednesday night against the Dodgers.