Padres 7, Astros 1
HOUSTON (AP)—The San Diego Padres feel right at home at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros remained tied for the NL Central lead with St. Louis, which lost to Cincinnati 8-5 and the Padres boosted their record to 10-3 since the ballpark opened in 2000.
Eaton (8-9) gave up a solo homer to Jeff Bagwell, his 31st, in the first inning and then shut down the Astros.
“Obviously the last couple times out we’ve had some good defense behind me,” Eaton said. “I was able to get in a groove with my fastball. Right now we’re all excited to be in that lineup.”
The Padres outhit the Astros 14-6 and are 16-9 against them since 2000.
“There are two big reasons they play well here: Klesko and Kotsay,” Bagwell said. “They’re like my best friends because I see them at first base so much. They’ve hit real well here and they have some good young pitchers.”
Eaton allowed six hits in seven innings. He walked two, struck out four and didn’t allow a runner to reach third after Bagwell’s homer.
Eaton likes having newcomer Brian Giles in the lineup.
“Giles in the lineup really has added to our team,” Eaton said. “He’s a good player, he puts so much pressure on the other team being in our lineup. Anytime you have Kotsay hitting sixth, the way he’s swinging the bat, it gives us a break.”
The Padres prevented Jeriome Robertson (12-7) from setting the Astros rookie record for victories by a left-hander.
Robertson had a rough beginning, giving up four hits, including solo homers by Loretta and Nevin, in the first inning.
“This is a hitter’s ballpark,” Loretta said. “The visuals are pretty good here. I hit a fastball down and in. I don’t think it was as in as he wanted it. I don’t think that would have been a home run in San Diego.”
Robertson escaped trouble again in the third with one out when he caught Klesko looking at a full-count third strike and Kotsay also worked to a full count before grounding out.
“There’s no doubt about it, they have a good lineup and some good young pitchers,” Robertson said. “They have five left-handers in the lineup and I should have been able to take advantage of that for some outs.
“I’ve pitched out of the bullpen as a lefty specialist. I’ve got to be able to get lefties out.”
Robertson pitched 4 2-3 innings. He allowed eight hits and five earned runs.
Nevin had an RBI single off Mike Gallo in the eighth.
Astros 2B Jeff Kent was out of the lineup to be with his wife, Dana, who gave birth to their fourth child Friday. … The Padres and Astros played for the first time this season. San Diego is 11-20 against NL Central teams…. San Diego’s Sean Burroughs extended his hitting streak to 10 games.