Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
The Padres are doing what they wish they could have done from the beginning of the season. The idea in the long season of baseball in the major leagues, is to take as many series as possible and generally wind up in contention. After taking 2 of 3 from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Padres have now taken three series in a row.
On Friday, the Padres came from a 7-1 deficit to beat the Pirates 9-8. Chase Headley - with resurgent power as of late - connected with 2 home runs, each from the switch hitter batting opposite sides of the plate.
Edinson Volquez was shaky again, unable to get out of the fourth inning, but solid performances by relief pitching combined with the offense coming alive in the fifth inning, helped the Padres overcome a deficit twice. Huston Street notched his 21st save in a row, but wound up injured on the last play of the game in a freak occurrence.
For the last out of the game, a ground ball was hit to first baseman Yonder Alonso, who waved off Street as Street was on his way to cover first base if needed. Street then pulled up lame, and went onto the disabled list the next day with a pulled calf.
On Saturday, the Padres didn't need any other offense except for Chase Headley's home run in the first inning, as they went on to beat the Pirates 5-0. Starter Jason Marquis went the distance, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
Will Venable also homered and went 2-4 on the evening, and Marquis also went 2-4. That win guaranteed that the Padres would take the series in Pittsburgh.
Sunday started off wonderfully. The Padres put up 5 runs after two innings and led 5-1 after three. Then the Pirates had a 9-run fourth, added one more run in the seventh inning, and the Pirates beat the Padres 11-5.
Starter Ross Ohlendorf had a disastrous fourth inning, including three walks - one with the bases loaded, and a grand slam. Cory Burns then relieved but could do no better, offering up a pair of walks, two singles, a double, and a triple before getting out of the inning.
The Padres offense was then quiet. The Pirates salvaged the last game of the series, breaking the Padres 12-game winning streak in Pittsburgh.
With Huston Street going on the 15-day disabled list, Cory Burns was called up from AAA Tucson. In his only previous appearance, Burns went a little over an inning without surrendering a run, but was beaten up pretty good in Pittsburgh, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits with the two walks. Street says that he feels a little better but realizes that it will be a couple of weeks until he returns.
The Padres are now in Atlanta to take on the Braves. The game is in progress, so if you're not watching or listening, then you'll have to wait for a recap, and if you are then you realize that Eric Stults of the Padres started against Mike Minor for the Braves. The Olympics are finished, so now there's little excuse than to catch some Padres games. Presuming your cable provider carries the games.