SAN DIEGO (AP)—This is one the San Diego Padres would like to bottle up and save.
The normally punchless Padres erupted for 11 runs behind 3-run homers from Jesus Guzman(notes) and Orlando Hudson(notes), and a solid seven strong innings from rookie Corey Luebke to break a season-high seven-game losing streak with an 11-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
“When you have a losing streak, it is a little bit of weight off your shoulders,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “To do it like this, I think is a good thing because it can build confidence. The trick is to come back and win again and keep swinging the bats.”
The amount of runs was unusual for the offensive-challenged Padres, who have the NL’s worse offense.
It was the first time the Padres hit multiple homers in a game since May 13 at Colorado. The span of 56 games was the longest stretch in the majors since the 1983 Cleveland Indians went 63 games without multiple homers.
The Padres, who had scored just five runs in their previous 65 innings, were 1 for 40 with runners in scoring position before Guzman’s homer.
“The three-run homer, is a very good thing,” Black said. “It was great to see. Luebke made it stand up, but the story was our offense.”
San Diego had hit just four three-run homers this season before Saturday night’s game.
The Padres, who have scored the fewest runs in the NL and has the league’s lowest batting average, scored their most runs since an 11-2 win against Atlanta on June 24.
“Just to see Guzzy get things started like that just lifted everybody up and got the ball rolling,” said Luebke.
“You never relax too much out there but it allows you to pound the zone more and try to eat up some innings,” Luebke said.
Luebke (3-3), who lost a 2-1 decision to Zito and the Giants last week, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one.
Since coming out of the bullpen to join the starting rotation on June 26, Luebke is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts.
“We felt very comfortable putting him in the rotation” Black said.
It was a reversal of fortunes for Zito, who was 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts since coming off the DL June 28 after missing more than two months with a right foot sprain.
Zito, who threw a season-high eight innings in his win over San Diego last week, allowed eight runs on seven hits with four walks over 3 2-3 innings.
“It was difficult for me to get the ball down tonight,” Zito said. “For the most part, the curveball didn’t have the finish down, and the change up, either.”
Zito’s lack of command cost him in the first inning when he issued two walks and hung a breaking ball with two outs that Guzman hit for his second homer.
Guzman singled in another run in the third with two outs and Hudson followed with a three-run home run, his second of the season.
The Padres, who scored just 10 runs during the seven-game losing streak, have scored in double figures only four times this season.
Notes: The Padres had not hit multiple homers in spacious Petco Park since May 4 against Pittsburgh. … San Diego became the last team in the major leagues to reach 50 homers. Toronto’s Jose Bautista(notes) leads the majors with 31 home runs. … Padres 3B Chase Headley(notes) was out of the starting lineup after suffering a strained right calf that forced him out of Friday night’s game against San Francisco in the first inning. Headley is the club’s leading hitter with a .300 average. … Because Headley is not expected to play, at the earliest, until San Diego starts a road trip Tuesday at Florida, the Padres called up 2B Logan Forsythe(notes) from Triple-A Tucson and optioned rookie C Luis Martinez(notes) to Tucson. … Giants 2B Mark DeRosa(notes) (left wrist sprain) began a rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose and is expected to join Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday.