Padres 6, Astros 3

After 32 home games, the San Diego Padres finally have

consecutive wins at spacious Petco Park.

Aaron Harang pitched into the seventh inning, Brad Hawpe had a

two-run double and the Padres beat the Houston Astros 6-3 on

Saturday night.

Overall, it was San Diego’s 11th home win this season and the

third time the Padres scored at least six runs at Petco Park. Ryan

Ludwick scored three times and rookie Logan Forsythe put the Padres

ahead with his first big league RBI.

”There’s no doubt, it’s been well-chronicled that our record

isn’t where we need it to be at home and we’re going to try to do

everything we can to catch up in that regard,” manager Bud Black

said.

Harang (6-2) did his part, holding the Astros to two runs and

six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Harang, who joined his hometown Padres in the offseason, matched

his win total from each of the last three seasons with the

Cincinnati Reds, when he struggled due to back spasms.

”I don’t really focus on that,” he said. ”Yeah, it is nice to

be able to get that kind of niche off my back that I wasn’t healthy

the last couple years. I just wasn’t pitching well. Yeah I did

battle some injuries the last couple years, but this game is weird,

man. It’s a very humbling game. Things work out in funny ways. I’m

just excited how things are going now and I’m excited how we’re

playing.”

Heath Bell came on with runners on first and second and no outs

in the ninth and finished for his 16th save in 17 chances. Michael

Bourn hit a one-out RBI double, but Bell struck out Clint Barmes,

who homered in the third, and got Hunter Pence to fly out to right

field to end it.

Ernesto Frieri started the ninth by walking Angel Sanchez and

allowing a single by J.R. Towles.

Harang hit Chris Johnson with a pitch leading off the second.

Johnson eventually scored when Towles reached on an error by second

baseman Angel Sanchez, pulling the Astros within one.

The Astros opened that inning with runners on second and third

and no outs, and ended up stranding runners at second and third. In

the fifth, they stranded a runner on third.

”It would have been nice if with runners at second and third

with no outs we could have gotten another run,” Houston manager

Brad Mills said. ”Then, in the fifth, we weren’t able to get one

there.”

All of the Padres’ runs came with two outs.

”We’ve talked about finishing off hitters, finishing off

innings,” Mills said. ”At the same time, that’s when they’re

trying to get hits as well.”

Barmes tied it at 2 when led off the third with his third

homer.

The Padres regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when

Forsythe doubled to left to bring in Ludwick, who walked with two

outs.

”It feels real good,” Forsythe said. ”It was a big situation,

it put us up, and it’s even nicer with two outs. I got a pitch and

tried to be aggressive. That’s what I’m trying to get my swing to,

is a little bit more aggressive.”

The Padres piled on in the eighth with Alberto Gonzalez’s RBI

single and Rob Johnson’s two-run base hit.

Chase Headley, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, and

Ludwick hit consecutive singles with two outs in the first. Hawpe

brought them both in when he doubled into the right-field

corner.

Pence tied his career high by extending his hitting streak to 16

games with a single in the first.

Houston’s Aneury Rodriguez (0-3) allowed three runs and five

hits in six innings.

NOTES: Sunday’s series finale has been pushed back from a normal

1:05 p.m. start to 3:35 p.m. to accommodate the Rock ‘n’ Roll

Marathon. The course will go through the Park at the Park beyond

center field at Petco Park. … Harang has worked at least six

innings in 10 of his 12 starts this season. Over his last four

starts, he has allowed six runs in 27 2-3 innings (1.95 ERA).