Padres stay hot, prove too much for Astros

BY foxsports • July 18, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Yonder Alonso's propensity for
hitting doubles helped his team to another
win.

Alonso went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs and the San
Diego Padres used a five-run fourth inning to beat the Houston Astros
8-4 on Wednesday.

With two more doubles on Wednesday,
Alonso has 23 this year and has hit two or more in a game seven times
this season, which is a franchise record. Adrian Gonzalez and Tony Gwynn
held the previous mark with six each.

"That's pretty
unique," Alonso said. "It feels good when you're in the company of
those guys. I knew what was going on and the guys on the team were
making jokes about it. It's a cool moment for
myself."

Clayton Richard (7-10) allowed four runs in 8
1-3 innings to snap a two-game losing streak. The left-hander gave up
nine hits, including two home runs by Matt Downs and struck out
two.

"It's so nice to have that type of padding in
the game," Richard said. "You know you can make a couple of
mistakes."

Richard fell short of his first career
complete game and added an RBI double in the
sixth.

"When you come to the ballpark as a starting
pitcher, that's what you want to do," Richard said. "It's disappointing
not making a few pitches at the end there to go through with
it."

The Padres won for the fourth time in five
games.

"It was a good performance today with
contributions all around the lineup," Padres manager Bud Black said.
"It's like we've talked about that it's going to take all of our guys to
get it done, and today was a good example of a lineup contributing top
to bottom."

After Carlos Corporan singled to chase
Richard in the ninth, Nick Vincent got one out, but walked Jordan
Schafer to put the tying run on deck. Huston Street entered and struck
out Scott Moore to convert his 15th save.

"We've
talked about Clayton's work ethic and what he does between starts, and
he's equipped for a complete game," Black said. "I was pulling hard for
him."

Downs' three-run home run in the sixth landed
in the first deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left
field. He hit a solo shot off Richard in the ninth, also to left and has
three home runs against Richard this season. Houston has lost 14 of 15
games on the road.

"He's very good," Downs said of
Richard. "I think it's just he made two mistakes and I think they were
both to me."

After Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez
retired the first nine batters, the Padres broke through in the
fourth.

The first six batters reached base,
highlighted by Alonso's and Chris Denorfia's run-scoring hits. Rodriguez
also walked two in the inning and threw a wild pitch as San Diego built
a 5-0 lead.

"It's kind of tough to put your full
finger on," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "That's kind of been his
Achilles' heel, being able to stop those from getting
started."

Rodriguez (7-8) allowed five runs and four
hits over four innings, snapping a streak of 48 games in which the
left-hander had lasted at least five innings.

"He
didn't want to come out of the game, but we had to try to get a run on
the board," Mills said.

Alonso's double in the
seventh scored Denorfia and gave San Diego an 8-3 lead. Chase Headley
scored on a Houston defensive breakdown in the fifth as Enerio Del
Rosario threw wide of first base on an attempted pickoff. Headley ran to
third and Downs skipped the ball past Chris Johnson as Headley
scored.

NOTES: Padres CF Cameron
Maybin was scratched from the starting lineup with soreness in his right
wrist. ... Astros C Jason Castro was to have his knee drained on
Wednesday but is not expected to join the team this week. ... Lucas
Harrell (7-6, 4.43 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the final
game of the series on Thursday. Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.69) will start
for San Diego.


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