St. Louis at San Diego

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St. Louis (27-21)020000000270
San Diego (17-30) «00000300x360

Kouz delivers for Padres with decisive three-run homer

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SAN DIEGO -- Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a ball as well as anyone can at Petco Park, and still lowered his head and ran hard out of the batter's box.

His three-run homer sailed well beyond the fence in straightaway center, a rare clutch hit that carried the San Diego Padres to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"In this ballpark you never know," Kouzmanoff said. "I knew it had a chance, but at the same time, the ball doesn't travel in this park. I knew I got it pretty good."

The shot came too late to give Greg Maddux the victory, but it ended a 24-hour span in which the Padres heard some pointed comments from general manager Kevin Towers and lost ace Jake Peavy to the disabled list with a swollen right elbow.

"It's nice to win. Maybe we'll do it again tomorrow," Maddux said with a wry smile.

A night earlier, after an 8-2 loss to the Cardinals, Towers said the Padres were "bad" and threatened wholesale changes if their play didn't improve. Manager Bud Black met with his players before Tuesday's game.

"Every win's nice. I don't know whether it eases anything, but I think we all know we need to play better," Black said. "We need to do more of what we did tonight, which is timely hitting. I thought we had good at-bats throughout the night. Even though we only had six hits, I saw better takes, better swings."

The win was just the fifth in 16 games for the Padres (17-30), who continue to have the worst record in the majors. St. Louis' three-game winning streak ended.

Kouzmanoff hit a 1-0 pitch from Joel Pineiro over the 396 sign in straightaway center field with two outs in the sixth. Jody Gerut and Brian Giles walked ahead of the homer, Kouzmanoff's fourth.

"Hey, big hit," Maddux said. "Kouz has been swinging good. He finally got ahold of one. It was nice to see."

Kouzmanoff's homer was estimated at 428 feet.

"I had a good slider," Pineiro said. "But that one, maybe I tried to make it better than what it was. It was a bad pitch and he did what he was supposed to do with it."

Manager Tony La Russa said Pineiro "made the cardinal sin by walking the leadoff hitter with a two-run lead. They walks the tying run, and throws the ball down the middle to a guy who can hit a three-run homer. You can't get away with that in the big leagues."

Pineiro had struck out Adrian Gonzalez before allowing the homer. "The way he struck out Gonzalez, he had plenty of stuff," La Russa said. "He gave them a break and they capitalized."

The 42-year-old Maddux, making his second start since earning his 350th career victory, went five innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out two and walked one.

Maddux was lifted for pinch-hitter Tony Clark in the fifth, when the Padres trailed 2-0 and had a rare scoring opportunity. But with runners on second and third and two outs, Clark flied out to center field.

Bryan Corey (1-0) earned his first win with San Diego by holding St. Louis to one hit in two scoreless innings. He was acquired from Boston on May 11.

Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances. He extended his big league career record to 533. Albert Pujols, who hit two towering homers in Monday night's 8-2 Cardinals win, popped up to shortstop to start the ninth.

The Cardinals scored two runs off three hits and a walk in the second. Troy Glaus doubled in Ryan Ludwick, who drew a leadoff walk, and later scored on Adam Kennedy's grounder.

Pineiro (2-3) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked three.

Notes

  • Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Padres with a strained and swollen right elbow. The move was retroactive to Thursday, a day after he lasted just four innings against the Chicago Cubs. LH reliever Joe Thatcher was recalled from Triple-A Portland to take Peavy's roster spot. LHP Wil Ledezma will take Peavy's spot in the rotation.
  • A warmup pitch by Cardinals reliever Kyle McClellan in the bottom of the seventh bounced in the dirt and hit C Yadier Molina in the mask. Molina was checked by a trainer and stayed in the game.
 
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Kevin Kouzmanoff gives the Padres a much-needed power surge with his three-run blast in the sixth.  (AP)
Kevin Kouzmanoff gives the Padres a much-needed power surge with his three-run blast in the sixth. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

T. Glaus
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
San Diego

K. Kouzmanoff
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Brian Barton, RF4000023 .239
    Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
Chris Duncan, LF4010001 .255
Albert Pujols, 1B4000001 .355
Ryan Ludwick, CF-RF3100100 .341
Troy Glaus, 3B4121000 .275
Yadier Molina, C3020001 .305
Adam Kennedy, 2B3001001 .254
Joel Pineiro, P2000011 .056
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH-CF1000000 .286
Cesar Izturis, SS3020000 .273
Totals3127213  
a-grounded out for McClellan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Troy Glaus (15, Maddux)
RBI - Troy Glaus (29), Adam Kennedy (14)
SB - Ryan Ludwick (2, 2nd base off Maddux/Carlin)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Izturis-Kennedy-Pujols, Molina-Kennedy
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (L,2-3) 5.2633371 4.50
Russ Springer 0.1000000 4.22
Kyle McClellan 1000010 2.78
Chris Perez 1000110 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 90-58, Kyle McClellan 12-8, Chris Perez 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 6-2, Russ Springer 1-0, Kyle McClellan 1-1
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 24, Russ Springer 1, Kyle McClellan 3, Chris Perez 4
San Diego Padres
Jody Gerut, CF2100210 .186
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4000012 .258
Brian Giles, RF3100120 .306
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3010112 .269
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4123011 .269
Khalil Greene, SS3020002 .228
Scott Hairston, LF3010013 .220
Luke Carlin, C3000022 .167
Greg Maddux, P1000000 .063
   a- Tony Clark, PH1000002 .238
    Bryan Corey, P0000000 .000
   b- Paul McAnulty, PH1000000 .197
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals2836349  
a-flied out for Maddux in the 5th
b-grounded out for Corey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adrian Gonzalez (10, Pineiro), Scott Hairston (4, Pineiro)
HR - Kevin Kouzmanoff (4, Pineiro)
RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff 3 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff 3 (11)
CS - Khalil Greene (1, 2nd base by Pineiro/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Gonzalez, Greene-Gonzalez, Greene-Iguchi-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Greg Maddux 5522120 3.94
Bryan Corey (W,1-0) 2100000 6.35
Heath Bell (H,10) 1100010 2.77
Trevor Hoffman (S,9) 1000000 4.61
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 70-48, Bryan Corey 20-14, Heath Bell 16-11, Trevor Hoffman 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 9-2, Bryan Corey 3-2, Heath Bell 1-1
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 19, Bryan Corey 6, Heath Bell 4, Trevor Hoffman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27181
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Tim Timmons