WHEN CLOSER Jim Johnson walks to the mound in the ninth inning with the Baltimore Orioles ahead, the outcome is all but decided. For 35 straight games, Johnson came through in save situations. On the 36th such occasion, the righthander finally gave a lead away.
Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera hit two-out RBI singles off Johnson in the ninth, and the visiting San Diego Padres got a home run from Carlos Quentin in a 3-2 victory last night.
After the Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Johnson (1-3) entered to try to secure the win. He gave up two consecutive singles before getting Jedd Gyorko to hit into a 6-4-3 doubleplay. But Denorfia followed with a single up the middle and, after Johnson hit Nick Hundley with a pitch, Cabrera singled to center for a 3-2 lead.
Johnson hadn't blown a save opportunity since July 27, 2012, against Oakland. His streak of 35 broke the team record of 34, set in 1997 by Randy Myers.
"I really didn't put a whole lot of stock into it," the righthander said. "It was just something you guys like to talk about."
He blamed his reversal of fortune on poor location.
"As soon as I got off the field, I looked, and pitches were in different spots than they're normally at," Johnson said. "It's about execution. At this level the talent is too good. You have to execute and tonight I didn't and wasted a good effort from a lot of guys on this team."
His teammates couldn't remember the last time he blew a save.
"It was the first time I'd ever seen it happen," said second baseman Ryan Flaherty, who played all last season with Baltimore. "You got a couple of balls that went through, and that's going to happen."
San Diego won after losing three straight in Tampa Bay, despite holding the lead in the fifth inning or later in each game.
"To get to [Johnson] is a great accomplishment for us," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Those are great on the road, they really are, to snatch one back when they took the lead."
Cabrera's hit was the 60,000th in Padres history.
Luke Gregerson (2-2) got the last out in the eighth and Huston Street earned his ninth save. The Padres were 0-18 when trailing after eight innings.
In another interleague game *
At Toronto, R.A. Dickey (3-5) snapped a four-start winless streak, Melky Cabrera had four hits against his former team and the Blue Jays beat the San Francisco Giants, 10-6.
Before the game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy presented Cabrera with his 2012 World Series ring in a private ceremony in the weight room.
In NL games *
At Miami, Homer Bailey (2-3) pitched a six-hitter to earn his first victory since April 5, and Cincinnati extended its winning streak to four games by beating the Marlins, 6-2. Xavier Paul hit a three-run double for the Reds, who took advantage of consecutive bases-loaded walks by Ricky Nolasco.
* At St. Louis, Carlos Beltran hit his 10th homer and drove in four runs and lefthander John Gast picked up a win in his major league debut as the Cardinals beat the New York Mets, 10-4. Dillon Gee (2-5) gave up six runs - five earned - in four innings for the Mets, who lost their fifth straight.
* At Chicago, Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and finished with a career-high five hits to lead the struggling Colorado Rockies to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs. Gonzalez was 5-for-5 and fell a triple shy of a cycle, and Eric Young Jr. also homered for the Rockies, who had lost five of their last six.
* At Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen homered leading off the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Pirates to a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. It was McCutchen's fifth homer of the season and the fourth walkoff homer of his career.
In AL games *
At New York, Robinson Cano hit a two-run double, Lyle Overbay delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and the Yankees rallied after Felix Hernandez exited to beat the Seattle Mariners, 4-3.
Hernandez left after six innings with a 3-1 lead. He appeared to hurt himself in the sixth when he fielded a comebacker, pivoted and threw to second for a forceout.
Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer for Seattle in his return to Yankee Stadium. New York star Curtis Granderson (broken arm) came off the disabled list and went 0-for-3 with a walk in his season debut.
* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Tampa Bay's Matt Moore (7-0) pitched six strong innings and beat Boston, 5-3, to remain unbeaten and claim a share of the major league lead in victories. The Rays have won six straight and the Red Sox have lost six of seven.
* At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit his eighth homer, Doug Fister (5-1) pitched seven strong innings and Andy Dirks hit a tiebreaking double in a three-run fifth as the Tigers beat Houston, 6-2.
* At Minneapolis, Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo homered to back another strong start from Jake Peavy (5-1) and lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Washington's Bryce Harper is sitting out the last two games of the Nationals-Dodgers series in Los Angeles after a headfirst crash into the rightfield wall Monday left him with 11 stitches in his chin and a sore body.
* The New York Mets placed reliever Scott Atchison on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and called up starting pitcher Collin McHugh from Triple A.
* Houston placed second baseman Jose Altuve on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother in Venezuela. Altuve left Monday's game at Detroit with a jaw injury but manager Bo Porter said the injury wasn't serious and he is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday.
* Toronto righthander Sergio Santos will have surgery this week to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow and is expected to be sidelined about 6 weeks.
* Baltimore placed lefthander Wei-Yin Chen on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain.
* Miami activated catcher Jeff Mathis from the disabled list. He broke his collarbone in the first spring-training game in February.
* While Major League Baseball teams improved racial diversity in hiring senior administrators, the employment of women is still lagging, according to the annual report by Richard Lapchick's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.