MILWAUKEE (AP)—Jason Bartlett(notes) and the rest of the San Diego Padres looked downright dour during manager Bud Black’s visit to the mound in the sixth. How could they go from a 5-0 lead with a season-high 14 hits only to be losing again?
“He could tell, all of us with our heads down, frustrated,” Bartlett said. “We didn’t capitalize. He told us, keep our heads up guys, you know, we’ve got a good pitching staff, good bullpen, we’ll score.”
Indeed. Again and again and again in an eight-run eighth inning.
Cameron Maybin(notes) drove in the go-ahead runs and Ryan Ludwick(notes) homered in the wild eighth, rallying the Padres after they’d already squandered one big lead in a 13-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
The Padres racked up a season-high 23 hits and 13 runs, raising their team batting average from .219 to .230 with the potent performance.
“It was fun. The effort’s been there, the passion to compete has been there. Things really haven’t gone our way, so it’s nice to have something like that happen, especially when those guys battled back,” Maybin said. “It was huge, it was good for our team, good for fans and it was nice, it was a good feeling.”
Chris Denorfia(notes) led off the game with a homer and San Diego built an early 5-0 lead, but Milwaukee rallied with Prince Fielder’s(notes) 200th career homer and Yuniesky Betancourt’s(notes) solo shot to go ahead 6-5 until the eighth.
It was a meltdown for the Brewers bullpen after starter Randy Wolf(notes) failed to get out of the fourth and Sergio Mitre(notes) provided 2 2-3 scoreless innings that allowed the Brewers to rally from the early hole.
Loe (2-4) was pitching his third straight day and manager Ron Roenicke had said he was unavailable before the game.
“He talked me into letting him come in the game,” Roenicke said. “It’s hard because you’re trying to win a game and your best guy down there is telling you he’s fine and can pitch. You’re trying to make a decision off of that.”
The lanky right-hander allowed consecutive singles to Denorfia and Bartlett that tied it at 6. After a sacrifice bunt, Chase Headley(notes) was intentionally walked and Maybin delivered with his double down the left-field line.
“I should know myself better than that,” said Loe, who acknowledged after the game he was fatigued. “They kind of told me today, ‘You’ll probably be down,’ but I fought them. I’m upset with myself.”
Ludwick snapped an 0 for 21 skid earlier in the game before homering to right field off Mike McClendon(notes) to make it 11-6. The Padres tacked on two more runs on singles by Hawpe and Bartlett as San Diego sent 13 batters to the plate.
“It’s not so much about my 0 for 21 today, it’s about the entire offense putting up as many hits as we did and battling back, getting a win and not getting swept,” Ludwick said.
Black said before the game that the final game of each series on the road are “happy flight” days, and the Padres can certainly enjoy their earned day off in Colorado on Thursday before continuing this eight-game trip.
“Yeah, it’ll be a happy flight,” Black said afterward, taking the phrase that third-base coach Glenn Hoffman coined. “You want to keep that going. It really does get contagious. It’s two games, it’s a small sample, but hopefully we can show signs of swinging the bats.”
Milwaukee was looking for its first three-game sweep this season and had a spirited rally before the ugly eighth.
Trailing 5-0, Milwaukee scored twice in the fourth. With two outs in the fifth, Braun hit a run-scoring double before Fielder’s two-run homered to tie it. Betancourt’s solo shot in the sixth put Milwaukee ahead 6-5 and chased Padres starter Tim Stauffer(notes) two batter later.
Milwaukee loaded the bases, but Qualls (2-2) forced Braun to pop out to end the threat and the Padres stormed back from there.
“I said going in, If I get 23 hits, 13 runs, I’ll take our chances,” Black joked. “That happens. I think every team would like to see that happen more, but when it does, it’s nice.”
NOTES: Braun left following his at-bat in the sixth with a left ankle bruise after hitting the wall earlier in the game. … The Padres’ 23 hits was one shy of tying the club record last matched at Atlanta on Aug. 12, 2003. … Tests on the arm of Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler(notes) (right triceps irritation) showed no structural issues. The Brewers have an off day on Thursday, but will have to make a roster move if he’s not ready to return by Friday. … Brewers LHP Zach Braddock(notes) (sleep disorder) will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Wisconsin on Thursday.
Colin Fly can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/cfly