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San Diego at Houston

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Houston000002010380

Padres snap skid with big fourth inning against Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The San Diego Padres needed one big inning on Saturday night to shake out of their recent offensive doldrums.

Todd Walker, Josh Barfield and Mike Cameron homered in the fourth off newcomer Jason Hirsh, and the Padres stopped a four-game losing streak by beating the Houston Astros 6-3.

San Diego had reached six runs only once since July 27 and lost nine of 13 games. Cameron said Walker's leadoff homer in the four-run fourth loosened up a tense San Diego dugout.

"It got us off the snide," said Cameron. "It was good for the whole team. We've been scuffling a little bit. It was a good thing for us to just go out and break the ice a little bit."

Later in the inning, Barfield added a solo shot and Cameron hit a two-run shot that gave Padres starter Jake Peavy (6-11) all the support he needed.

Peavy struck out nine in seven strong innings, earning only his second win since May 28.

"Hopefully, that will get the boys rolling and get everybody relaxed a little bit," Peavy said. "That inning was huge."

Hirsh, promoted from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day, was rocked in his major league debut. He had given up just five home runs all season in 23 starts in the minors.

"I just wasn't as sharp as I hoped I would be," said Hirsh. "I was missing in and up and down. Obviously, some of those balls were hit pretty well."

Lance Berkman homered for the second straight night and Luke Scott had an RBI single for the Astros, who had won four in a row.

Scott Linebrink relieved Peavy in the eighth and gave up Morgan Ensberg's double and Scott's run-scoring single.

Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth to get his 31st save in his 35th chance.

"We did a little bit of everything tonight, which was good for the whole team," Cameron said. "When we're playing good, that's the way we play."

Until Berkman's homer, Peavy had the Astros baffled, striking out seven of 11 batters he faced between the second and fifth innings.

Peavy has been dealing with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, but says he's finally healthy.

"I felt a lot better than I have all year," said Peavy, who threw 111 pitches. "I feel like fatigue's not a factor, feel like I'm not going to hurt myself being out there."

Hirsh's first outing, meanwhile, quickly fell apart after a solid first three innings.

Walker hit Hirsh's first pitch of the fourth into the upper deck in right field and with one out, Barfield sent the first pitch into the left-field seats. Dave Roberts singled with two outs and Cameron then connected for his 16th home run.

Padres manager Bruce Bochy complimented his players for being aggressive at the plate, swinging early in pitch counts.

"They looked like they got after it better," Bochy said. "You've got to play this game free and easy. It looked like we've tightened up a little bit."

Russ Springer relieved Hirsh starting the fifth. The Astros had been eager to recall the 6-foot-8 Hirsh, who was 13-2 with a 2.10 ERA in the minors and led the Pacific Coast League with 118 strikeouts.

"He was keyed up, may have had a little bit of anxiety," said Houston manager Phil Garner. "But he didn't seem overly nervous to me."

Peavy retired eight straight Astros after Adam Everett's infield single in the second inning. Everett reached on an error leading off the fifth, but Peavy fanned Brad Ausmus for the second time, got pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro on a ground out and struck out Willy Taveras.

Peavy walked Craig Biggio leading off the sixth and Berkman followed with an opposite-field home run that barely cleared the left-field wall. Berkman has hit 27 of his 32 homers batting left-handed.

Notes

  • The Padres hit three homers in the same inning for the first time since a 7-5 win over Kansas City on July 2, 2004.
  • Taveras singled in the first inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to 15 games.
  • Hirsh was the sixth rookie pitcher the Astros have used this season.
  • Before the game, the Astros honored former play-by-play man Gene Elston, the 2006 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. The 84-year-old Elston was the franchise's first radio announcer and worked in Houston from 1962-86 during his 47-year broadcasting career.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jesse Barfield gets a congrats from third base coach Glenn Hoffman after his fourth-inning blast.  (AP)
Jesse Barfield gets a congrats from third base coach Glenn Hoffman after his fourth-inning blast. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

M. Cameron
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
 
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF5230001
Mike Cameron, CF5134002
Brian Giles, RF3010221
Mike Piazza, C4000016
    Rob Bowen, C1000000
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5010043
Todd Walker, 3B3111100
    Geoff Blum, 3B1000000
Khalil Greene, SS4000012
Josh Barfield, 2B4221001
Jake Peavy, P2010000
   a- Mark Bellhorn, PH1000000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000
Totals3861263816 
a-grounded out for Peavy in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mike Cameron (, Nieve)
HR - Mike Cameron (, Hirsh), Todd Walker (, Hirsh), Josh Barfield (, Hirsh)
SH - Jake Peavy ()
RBI - Mike Cameron 4 (), Todd Walker (), Josh Barfield ()
2-OUT RBI - Mike Cameron 4 ()
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Greene-Barfield-Gonzalez
E - Todd Walker (, )
San Diego Padres
Jake Peavy (W,-) 7622291
Scott Linebrink 1211010
Trevor Hoffman (S,) 1000000
WP - Jake Peavy ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 112-75, Scott Linebrink 17-11, Trevor Hoffman 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 9-3, Trevor Hoffman 1-2
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 29, Scott Linebrink 5, Trevor Hoffman 3
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5010031
Craig Biggio, 2B3100101
Lance Berkman, 1B4112021
Aubrey Huff, RF3000100
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4120012
Luke Scott, LF4021011
Adam Everett, SS4010002
Brad Ausmus, C4000021
Jason Hirsh, P1000011
    Russ Springer, P0000000
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000001
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000
   b- Jason Lane, PH1010000
    Fernando Nieve, P0000000
   c- Mike Lamb, PH1000000
Totals3538321011 
a-grounded out for Springer in the 5th
b-doubled for Borkowski in the 7th
c-flied out for Nieve in the 9th
Batting
2B - Morgan Ensberg (, Linebrink), Luke Scott (, Peavy), Jason Lane (, Peavy)
HR - Lance Berkman (, Peavy)
RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (), Luke Scott ()
2-OUT RBI - Luke Scott ()
SB - Adam Everett (, 2nd base off Peavy/Piazza)
CS - Adam Everett (, 2nd base by Peavy/Piazza)
Team LOB - 7
Houston Astros
Jason Hirsh (L,-) 4744243
Russ Springer 1100000
Dave Borkowski 2211120
Fernando Nieve 2211020
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hirsh 87-54, Russ Springer 16-11, Dave Borkowski 37-22, Fernando Nieve 19-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hirsh 2-6, Russ Springer 1-2, Dave Borkowski 3-1, Fernando Nieve 1-3
Batters Faced - Jason Hirsh 21, Russ Springer 4, Dave Borkowski 9, Fernando Nieve 8
Game Information
Attendance - 43591
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Bill Welke