Padres 7, Astros 2
This was supposed to be San Diego’s blueprint.
The Padres thought the combination of timely hitting, strong
starting pitching and one of the best bullpens in the majors,
similar to what they had last season when they fell two games short
of the NL West title, was their winning formula for 2011.
Chase Headley extended his career-high hitting streak to 15
games with an RBI double and San Diego won three consecutive home
games for the first time this season with a 7-2 victory over the
Houston Astros on Sunday.
The Padres, who had been awful at home through the first two
months of the season, took three in a row from the Astros after
dropping the series opener Thursday night. That gave San Diego just
its second win in a home series this season. The Padres still have
the NL’s worst home record at 12-21.
San Diego (27-33) won for the eighth time in 11 games. The
Padres remain in last place in the NL West.
”We have been playing a lot better, more like we are capable of
playing and how we want to play,” said Headley, who had two
doubles. ”Fortunately, we didn’t play bad enough that we played
ourselves out of it early. We are still within striking distance. I
like the way we’re playing.”
For as poorly as San Diego has played to this point, it still is
only 6 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco.
”I think on the last road trip, I saw signs of us playing a
total game,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”I’m seeing the
defense tightening up a little bit, I’m seeing the bats swinging
better. When those things occur, you’re going to have some
San Diego scored three first-inning runs to give Mat Latos (4-6)
an early lead. Latos labored through five innings to win his third
straight start, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts
and two walks.
Teammates were quick to credit Jason Bartlett’s nine-pitch
at-bat as a key to the first inning. He tripled in the first run
off rookie Jordan Lyles (0-1).
”It was just a quality at-bat where he fought off some quality
pitches,” Headley said. ”It’s nice to see a guy early and see
everything he has. When he fought off some pitches, it was
beneficial to him and the rest of the guys.”
Lyles had a rougher outing than in his major league debut
Tuesday when he carried a shutout into the eighth at Wrigley
”Nothing felt really good coming out,” Lyles said. ”It was a
little bit different from that first outing. They made me pay for
The right-hander allowed four runs on five hits in four innings
before being lifted. The 20-year-old Lyles struck out three, walked
one and hit two batters with pitches.
Houston’s Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to a
career-high 17 games with an RBI single in the fifth. Pence’s
hitting streak is the second-longest current run in the majors. St.
Louis infielder Ryan Theriot has hit safely in 19 consecutive
After winning the first four games on its road trip, Houston
wound up 4-3 for its first winning trip this season.
Alberto Gonzalez had a two-run single for the Padres in the
seventh inning, Jason Bartlett had three hits and scored twice, and
Ryan Ludwick walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored two
Following a rough start to the season, Latos is 4-1 with a 2.93
ERA in his last five starts.
San Diego, which has been outscored 36-20 in the first inning,
turned around that trend against Lyles.
Chris Denorfia led off with a single and scored on Bartlett’s
triple. With one out, Lyles hit Ludwick with a pitch and Brad Hawpe
followed with an RBI single. Aaron Cunningham bounced into a force
play to bring in the third run.
After Latos allowed Michael Bourn’s leadoff walk in the third
and a stolen base, Carlos Lee followed with a two-out RBI
Headley extended his hitting streak with an RBI double to the
wall in right-center in the third to score Bartlett, who led off
with an infield single, for a 4-1 lead.
Houston got a run back in the fifth on Pence’s run-scoring
single with one out after consecutive singles by pinch-hitter Angel
Sanchez and Bourn.
The Astros, who entered second in the NL in batting average with
runners in scoring position, went 5 for 41 (.122) in the series.
Houston stranded nine runners on Sunday.
NOTES: San Diego won two of three games against Arizona from May
6-8 for its only other winning series at home. … Pence’s hitting
streak is the Astros’ longest since Miguel Tejada hit in 21
straight games in 2009. … Houston RHP Brandon Lyon began a rehab
assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Lyon has been on the 15-day
DL with right biceps tendinitis and a partial right rotator cuff