Hoffman gets ball against former club
Brewers closer makes first appearance vs. Friars in 16 years
SAN DIEGO -- It took him three days and a non-save situation, but Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman finally got in a game at PETCO Park.
Hoffman entered the game Sunday in the ninth inning, and with the Brewers headed to a 6-1 victory over the Padres.
This time, there were no "Hells Bells" chiming in the background and he didn't run in from the Padres bullpen out beyond the center-field fence.
"It's a lot shorter," Hoffman said of the trot from the visiting bullpen, which is located down the first-base line.
Hoffman entered the game in the ninth inning with the Brewers up by five runs and to a warm round of applause from what was left of a crowd of 23,693 on a sun-kissed day at PETCO Park.
Was he emotional?
"Not necessarily," Hoffman said. "You're in the heat of the moment, trying to get some outs. There were times in the three days we were here to have some neat moments with people. It was perfect, other than the fact we came out on the short end of the series."
Hoffman got pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar to pop up to Prince Fielder at first base before he struck out Henry Blanco for the second out. Luis Rodriguez walked before Hoffman got Kyle Blanks looking at an 87-mph fastball to end the game.
It was the third time Hoffman had pitched against the Padres. He faced them while still a member of the Marlins on June 4, 1993 and then again two days later.
Hoffman, who last month made the National League All-Star team as a late replacement, earned all but 25 -- 23 this season with the Brewers -- of his Major League career-leading 577 saves while playing for the Padres from 1993-2008.
The weekend -- baseball aside, where the Padres took two of three games -- was a success, Hoffman said. He enjoyed the video tribute prior to Friday's game and, of course, he probably enjoyed sleeping in his own bed in nearby Rancho Santa Fe.
"Everything has been great," Hoffman said. "That people have responded the way they have, it's pretty awesome. It didn't surprise me. ... It gets you out of your routine a little bit, but there's no doubt that it was fun to come back."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.