Padres 3, Giants 2, 10 innings
This game had an eerily familiar feeling for the San Diego Padres, but a much more pleasant result.
Cla Meredith struck out Feliz a night after he had a game-ending hit and Kevin Kouzmanoff homered with one out in the 10th inning to help the slumping Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“Every day is a different day,” San Diego outfielder Mike Cameron said. “We got the big hit today. Yesterday they got the big hit. Dave Roberts got us a couple times but today were able to come back and get a big run.”
The Padres were only able to get that big run because Meredith escaped a jam in the ninth inning after Roberts tied the game in the eighth for the second straight night with a single off Scott Linebrink.
Bonds scored the winning run in the 11th inning Monday night on Feliz’s hit off Justin Hampson and was poised for a repeat before Meredith struck out Feliz. Meredith has now struck out Feliz four straight times and held him hitless in seven career at-bats.
“I felt good about that matchup with Cla,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Cla got him out last night. I felt confident with Cla.”
Kouzmanoff’s homer off Randy Messenger (1-2) was San Diego’s third solo shot of the game and helped the Padres overcome another blown eighth-inning lead and win for just the second time in seven games.
Kouzmanoff is batting just .221 his rookie season but has had a knack for some big hits and has 30 RBIs on just 44 hits.
“He’s been a resilient kid,” Black said. “He’ll be the first to tell you he’s not happy with where his average is. He’s used to looking up there and seeing a higher batting average and some better offensive numbers. I told him he’ll find a way to figure it out.”
David Wells and the Padres’ bullpen kept Barry Bonds stuck on 749 career home runs, mostly by pitching around the Giants slugger. Bonds was 1-for-2 with three walks and remained six homers shy of tying Hank Aaron’s all-time mark.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the 10th for his 20th save in 22 chances this season. Hoffman, the career saves leader with 502, recorded the first two of his career with Florida before joining San Diego in 1993.
The game ended when catcher Michael Barrett threw out Roberts trying to steal second base.
“Against the greatest closer in the game to hope for three consecutive hits is a lot,” Roberts said. “Stealing a base is the better choice to get into scoring position. You can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. You have to be aggressive.”
But the bullpen could not hold the lead. Kevin Frandsen started the game-tying rally in the eighth inning with a swinging bunt single with two outs and nobody on against Linebrink. Pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney followed with a single to left before Roberts tied it with his single.
That helped Zito avoid losing a fourth straight start for the first time in his career. Zito pitched much better than he had in losing his previous three starts, allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings. He allowed 15 runs in those game, failing to make it out of the sixth inning in any of them.
He also failed to get a bunt down twice with a runner on first and one out, striking out both times.
“I give up two home runs and don’t get two bunts down in a pivotal part of the game,” Zito said. “I’m disgusted with that.”
Wells allowed one run and six hits in six innings, but is winless in his last four starts after Linebrink blew the lead.
Bonds used his legs to help the Giants score in the first inning, beating out a slow roller to second base for an infield hit with a runner on second and two outs. Bengie Molina followed with an RBI single to score Randy Winn with the first run of the game.
Bonds also flied out to left field in the fifth inning and walked in the third, seventh and ninth. He failed to go deep for the second straight day against the team he has tormented most. Bonds has hit 86 of his home runs against the Padres, 22 more than he has hit against any other team. He is expected to get the day off in Wednesday’s series finale.
The Giants failed to score again until the eighth, stranding two runners in the third inning and leaving the bases loaded in the fourth. San Francisco stranded 14 runners overall.
“I was able to get out of some situations with minimal damage,” Wells said. “I think it’s a good sign when you can get out of stuff like that and keep your team in the ballgame.”
Giants 2B Ray Durham flied out to center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning and is 2-for-21 on the homestand. … Sweeney’s single was his 146th career pinch hit, moving past Smoky Burgess into third place all-time. … Cameron, a three-time Gold Glove winner, made two errors in center field.
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