10/01/06 9:00 PM ET
Padres monthly recap
By Amanda Branam / MLB.com
The 2006 season got off to a bumpy start as the Padres lost 11 of 15 home games in the opening month. Projected No. 2 starter Shawn Estes lasted just one start before injuring his elbow and ended up being shut down for the season, requiring Tommy John elbow surgery.
The month ended on a high note when San Diego scored five runs in the ninth against the rival Dodgers, sending the game to extra innings for an eventual 6-5 win.
The emotional win in the last game of the month against the Dodgers sent the Padres soaring to nine straight wins and victories in 12 of their next 13 games. Starter Chris Young took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Rockies at home on May 30. Eight days earlier, ace Jake Peavy struck out a franchise-record 16 Braves, but still lost.
In his next start after flirting with a no-no at home, Young went on the road and took a no-hitter into the sixth at Pittsburgh. San Diego went 7-5 in its second round of Interleague Play against the Mariners, Athletics, Angels and Rangers. Mike Cameron homered in three consecutive games against his former team, Seattle, in a series played June 23-25 at home.
The Padres rattled off five straight wins heading into the All-Star break, including a sweep on the road against the Nationals to finish off the first half. San Diego broke even in July, but did sweep a three-game set from the Dodgers from July 24-26.
August was a streaky month for the Padres, posting two four-game losing streaks in the month. They also won four straight, one against Arizona, followed by another sweep of the Dodgers. The Padres pitchers had a rough patch from Aug. 19-21, when two starters, Clay Hensley and Chan Ho Park, were scratched at the last minute and another, Young, exited after the first inning with a strained muscle near his right shoulder blade.
San Diego heated up down the final stretch of the regular season, putting together five- and six-game winning streaks in the month. The Padres gave up four consecutive homers to the Dodgers and then a walk-off in the bottom of the 10th in their final matchup of the season. Trevor Hoffman broke the all-time saves record with No. 479 on Sept. 24, the final regular-season home game. Hoffman notched No. 482 on the final day of the regular season, securing the NL West title for the Padres.
Amanda Branam is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.