SAN DIEGO (AP) — Edinson Volquez is starting to put together strong starts for the Padres.
Volquez (1-3) allowed just five singles and struck out three and Carlos Quentin hit his first home run as San Diego beat Milwaukee 2-1 on Wednesday night, snapping the Brewers nine-game winning streak.
“We’ve seen the good in the year and a month that he (Volquez) has been here,” said Padres manager Bud Black. “No doubt he struggled in a couple of his five starts this season. I thought he pitched well. Last week in San Francisco (six innings, two runs) this was a carryover and obviously a much better performance.”
Black noted that this was the fourth time in Volquez’ 127 starts that he hasn’t allowed a walk. It was also the first time he hasn’t walked a batter in seven-plus innings.
“I was throwing strikes, no walks today, it was about time,” laughed Volquez. “It was great. All my pitches were there, my curve was pretty good, my changeup. Everything was there I can’t complain about anything tonight.”
The victory snapped a five-game skid by the Padres.
“After losing five games in a row, we stopped the bleeding,” said Volquez. “This was a great game tonight and I got great support early in the game and kept it that way.”
Quentin, who came off his eight-game suspension on Tuesday, hit a shot into the third deck off Brewers starter Marco Estrada with one out in the fourth for the first run of the game. Quentin has now hit a home run against all 29 teams that he has faced in his career. The only team he has not hit a home run against it the White Sox, for whom he played for, but has never faced.
It was the seventh home run given up by Estrada (2-1) in five starts. He pitched 6 1-3 innings allowing two runs, walking two and striking out three.
Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless eighth for the Padres and Huston Street came on in the ninth to get his third save in three opportunities.
The save was a bit precarious as Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt had back-to-back doubles to make it a 2-1 game. However, Martin Maldonado was called out for being out of the batter’s box when the ball he hit, connected with him in fair territory. And that was the final out of the game.
“The (home plate umpire Paul Emmel) said he was out of the box,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. “To end the game, you’d better know darn well that he’s out of the box. You could see the ball coming off his shoulder as Maldy was taking a step toward first base, he’s definitely not out of the box”.
In addition to his dominant pitching night, Volquez also helped produce the Padres second run in the fifth.
Nick Hundley singled with one out and Volquez layed down a sacrifice bunt. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw to first where second baseman Rickie Weeks was waiting for the out. However, Hundley, after hesitating around second, headed for third base that was unoccupied. As he was approaching the bag Weeks rifled the ball across the diamond to a moving shortstop Jean Segura, who was also heading for third, but the ball bounced in the dirt and wound up in foul territory in left field and Hundley scored.
NOTES: Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez, who has been on the DL since April 6th with a sprained left knee, was taking BP and taking ground balls Wednesday night and according to manager Ron Roenicke, “he could be back in the lineup somewhere in the next home stand.” .RHP John Axford could be back in his closer role soon according to Roenicke. “I think right now we are not going to flip Jim Henderson (current closer) and John (Axford). The way Ax threw yesterday (Tuesday) he could win every ball game he went in. It wouldn’t take much for me to flip the two,” said Roenicke. “I think Ax with his breaking ball and the way he’s been throwing could have that repeat year (46 saves) that he had two years ago.”… The Padres newest pitcher LH Robbie Erlin was in the bullpen Wednesday and was looking at hurling in long relief according to Padres manager Bud Black. Erlin, 22, had his contract selected from Triple-A Tucson.