SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Brian Lawrence isn't a strikeout pitcher, by
his own admission. He certainly looked like one Friday night.
Lawrence tied his career high with 10 strikeouts and didn't
allow an earned run in eight innings as the San Diego Padres beat
the Cincinnati Reds 5-2. "I'm never going to break the strikeout record or even close to
that,'' Lawrence said. "Strikeouts aren't a thing to me, but
there're nice. You can look back at the end of year and say that
you had this many. Still, to be honest, I'd rather keep my pitch
count down to go deeper into the game.'' Lawrence (10-6) allowed two unearned runs and walked three being
replaced by Trevor Hoffman to start the ninth. "Everything was working,'' Lawrence said. "When I strike out
that many guys, I have to have more than one or two pitches so that
(batters) really can't look for one or the other.'' Hoffman, who blew a ninth-inning lead in an 8-7 loss to the
Chicago Cubs on Thursday, earned his 27th save in 29 chances. The
save tied Hoffman for sixth place on the career list with Rollie
Fingers at 341. "It's a tremendous honor to be associated with a name like
Rollie Fingers, who was a member of the Padres during his career,''
Hoffman said. "Guys like him were at the lead of revolutionizing
the role. Those guys were the pioneers.'' Phil Nevin went 3-for-4 with a run-scoring single and Deivi Cruz
had two hits and an RBI for the Padres. Knuckleballer Jared Fernandez (1-2) gave up three runs -- two
earned -- and nine hits in six innings for the loss. "It wasn't my best knuckleball, but it was good enough to win
the game, I felt,'' Fernandez said. "The hits we gave up were hard
hits, a lot of groundballs up the middle.'' Down 3-0, the Reds scored two unearned runs in the sixth, which
included three errors, two hits and a walk. Austin Kearns had a
sacrifice fly and Russell Branyan hit an RBI single to account for
the scoring. Lawrence escaped further harm by getting Barry Larkin to strike
out with runners at second and third. "Lawrence was too tough,'' Reds manager Bob Boone said. "We
couldn't do anything against him.'' The Padres scored single runs over three straight innings,
starting in the second. Ron Gant hit a leadoff double and came home on a one-out single
by Cruz to open the scoring in the second. The Padres added an unearned run in the third on Nevin's RBI
single. Ryan Klesko scored on the hit after advancing to second on
a passed ball by Kelly Stinnett. Trinidad Hubbard's RBI single in the third made it 3-0. "I don't see how their team is under .500,'' Fernandez said.
"That's a good hitting team.'' San Diego scored twice in the eighth against Scott Sullivan on
RBI singles by pinch-hitters Gene Kingsale and Mark Kotsay. Stinnett had three passed balls while dealing with the
knuckleballs delivered by Fernandez.
Lawrence also struck out 10 on June 1 against Milwaukee.
... Cincinnati RHP Elmer Dessens, who left Thursday's start with a
strained right groin, will be evaluated again Saturday in San
Diego. ... This was the first game between the Reds and Padres this
season. ... Larkin left the game with a stiff neck after striking
out to end the seventh. ... INF Ramon Vazquez was a late scratch
from the Padres lineup because of a stomach virus. ... Padres OF
Ray Lankford (hamstring) and C Wiki Gonzalez (hip flexor) are
eligible to come the 15-day disabled list, but won't return to play
for at least two days, according to trainer Todd Hutcheson. Both players need to do more running before being activated.