The San Diego right-hander was on the mound Friday night for the Padres’ second-biggest outburst of the season, a 10-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He was the winning pitcher in the biggest, too, a 17-2 victory over Atlanta on April 12.
“I’ve had a couple of weird ones,” Correia said. “I’ll never complain about runs. I feel good right now.”
Tony Gwynn(notes) Jr. added a two-run homer and Matt Stairs(notes) and Everth Cabrera(notes) drove in two runs apiece in support of Correia, who didn’t allow a hit until Ryan Hanigan(notes) led off the sixth with a double to center field.
“I was aware of it,” Correia said. “The count was 3-2, and I’m thinking, ‘Throw strikes.’ I could’ve tried a slider down and away and maybe walked him, but I was only through five, and there was so much of the game left that it never even entered my mind.”
Correia (3-1) improved to 6-1 in his career against Cincinnati, including 4-1 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds reached Correia for three hits and two runs in that inning. He left with two outs. Correia also walked Joey Votto(notes) three times and struck out five.
Chase Headley(notes) led off San Diego’s four-run second inning with a single to center and went to third on Will Venable’s(notes) double to right. Stairs doubled to virtually the same spot for his first RBIs of the season. Gwynn followed one out later with his first homer, a drive into the visitors’ bullpen down the right field line.
Stairs and Gwynn weren’t in San Diego’s original starting lineup. They were inserted after Padres manager Bud Black learned that Bronson Arroyo(notes) would be starting instead of Johnny Cueto(notes), a decision made at least a day earlier but mistakenly not communicated to the media and San Diego. Stairs’ start was his first of the season.
“We wanted to get Stairs and Gwynn some at-bats,” Black said. “We felt that left-handers have a better chance against Arroyo. When we saw the rotation a week ago, we planned to play them on Saturday, when Arroyo was scheduled to pitch.
The Padres knocked Arroyo out of the game during their six-run fourth inning. Nick Hundley(notes) and Gwynn led off with singles and Correia walked while trying to lay down a sacrifice. Cabrera followed with a two-run single, and after former Red Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) greeted reliever Micah Owings(notes) with a single to load the bases, Gonzalez hit the first pitch into the right field seats for his fourth home run of the season.
“You can actually miss-hit a ball here and still hit it out,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t hit the ball all that well. There seemed to be a jet stream out there. I don’t know how this park normally plays, but there was something out there tonight.”
The six fourth inning runs were the most allowed by the Reds in one inning this season.
“I actually felt better than I did my last couple of times,” Arroyo said. “I just got beat. Those big innings kill you. For their guy to be throwing as well as he was, giving up fivr or six (runs) early kills you.”
Arroyo (0-2) was roughed up for eight runs on eight hits, issuing two walks without striking anybody out. His three-inning stint was the shortest since he lasted one inning while giving up seven hits and nine runs in a 15-3 loss to Milwaukee on May 6, last season.
That’s what manager Dusty Baker most likely was thinking about while hoping that Arroyo can turn it around.
“We’ve covered this before,” he said. “He goes through periods where he looks like he can’t get anybody out, then he’ll reel off six or seven great starts in a row.”
NOTES: Padres RHP Chris Young, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder, threw a four-inning simulated game in the bullpen before the game. “He turned the ball loose,” Black said. “He said his arm felt very good. We’ll evaluate him in the next day or two.” Young is eligible to be activated at any time. … Gonzalez’s homer was the 134th of his career with San Diego, breaking a tie with Ryan Klesko(notes) for fifth on the club’s career home run list. Gonzalez needs one to tie Tony Gwynn Sr. for fourth. … Gonzalez has hit at least one home run in four of San Diego’s last five games against the Reds, dating back to last season.