Padres 7, Royals 5

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SAN DIEGO (AP)—The San Diego Padres made Petco Park look like a bandbox. They hit five home runs, and it turned out they needed every one of them.

Phil Nevin homered in consecutive at-bats and Humberto Quintero, Brian Buchanan and Brian Giles also connected to lead the Padres past the Kansas City Royals 7-5 Friday night.

The five homers were the most in a game in nearly two seasons for the Padres, who griped early on about the spacious outfield at their new $458 million ballpark.

“It’s going to take a full season to realize what this park does,” Nevin said. “I’m not going to say that the ball all of a sudden is flying out. Anybody that hit a ball tonight hit it pretty darn good.”

Jake Peavy (5-2) returned from the disabled list and combined with five relievers on a seven-hitter. The 22-year-old right-hander, out since May 20 with a strained right forearm, lowered his ERA to 1.98 by holding the Royals to one run and three hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

At the time of his injury, Peavy led the NL with a 2.01 ERA.

Peavy was pulled after giving up Ken Harvey’s shot into the home-run porch down the right-field line with one out in the sixth, his ninth. He finished with three hits.

The Royals scored four times in the ninth on Matt Stairs’ two-run homer off Jay Witasick, Alberto Castillo’s RBI single and a wild pitch by Trevor Hoffman.

Hoffman got two outs for his 19th save in 21 chances.

Leading 7-1 going into the ninth, manager Bruce Bochy didn’t want to use Hoffman or setup man Akinori Otsuka, but Witasick gave up three runs and two hits while getting just one out to open the inning.

Dennys Reyes (2-3) allowed the first three Padres homers, all solo shots. Shawn Camp gave up the last two, including Giles’ three-run shot into the porch to cap a five-run sixth. Giles’ homer gave the Padres a 7-1 lead, and it turned out to be important.

Nevin complained the most about how the ball didn’t carry well to the parts of Petco Park he likes to hit to, right-center and right field. The gap in right-center is the deepest part of the ballpark at 411 feet.

His first homer Friday night sailed into the Padres’ bullpen beyond the fence in center field leading off the second inning, and he lined his second shot into the seats in left leading off the fourth. His 13th and 14th of the season, they were both on waist-high fastballs.

“That’s what I heard about this park, that it was tough to hit home runs, but not today,” Reyes said. “I guess they figured it out.”

It was Nevin’s 10th career multihomer game, and first since July 31, 2002, at Wrigley Field. That was also the Padres’ last five-homer game.

San Diego’s previous home-run high at Petco was two, five times.

Quintero, a rookie catcher, homered to left with one out in the sixth, his second. Buchanan, pinch-hitting for Peavy, hit Camp’s second pitch into the second deck in left. Giles’ shot, his 12th, landed in the first row of the home-run porch.

“Those balls tonight were just flat-out hit,” Giles said.

Said Royals manager Tony Pena: “Giles hit the ball right in the right part of the ballpark. He hits that ball anywhere else and it’s an out.”

Reyes allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out sixand walked two.


Royals 1B Mike Sweeney sat out with a stiff lower back. … The Padres have sold 2,560,690 tickets for their first season in Petco Park, enough to break the club’s home attendance record of 2,555,901 set in 1998, the season San Diego went to the World Series and the last time it had a winning record. … Early in the game, Pena made some of his players stash their folding chairs in the front of the cramped visitors’ dugout. “I just told them to get rid ofthe chairs because they looked too comfortable,” Pena said.

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