HOUSTON -- Jon Garland was breezing through the Houston lineup Saturday night, but gladly accepted his manager's decision to take him out after only 83 pitches.
Garland tossed seven shutout innings to win his fourth straight start, and the Astros' offense sputtered again in the San Diego Padres' 2-1 victory.Manager Bud Black used setup man Mike Adams for the eighth and Heath Bell for the ninth, even though Garland felt as if he could've finished the game."That's one of those situations that puts a manager in a tough spot," Garland said. "Obviously, I want to stay in the game. But I can't argue with the results. Those guys have been lights-out pretty much all year."Neither reliever had worked since Wednesday, so Black made the move. Geoff Blum drove in Kaz Matsui with a single in the eighth off Adams, Houston's first run in 18 innings, but Bell finished off the Astros for his eighth save in nine chances."Mike and Heath, with two days' rest, was probably the overriding factor," Black said. "Our bullpen's been reliable, and again today they showed it."Yorvit Torrealba and Chase Headley drove in runs for the Padres, who've won 16 of their last 21 games. The Astros have lost 11 of their last 12, averaging 1.75 runs during the skid.Felipe Paulino (0-5) struck out a career-high 11 in seven effective innings, but got no help from Houston's hitters, who produced fewer than three runs for the ninth time in 12 games.Michael Bourn led off the Astros' ninth with a bouncer to shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. and was called out on a close play. Bourn ripped off his helmet and was ejected when he screamed at first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez."I felt like I was safe," Bourn said. "It was bang-bang, but I felt like it could have changed the game. I like to compete, and I got mad. I'm calmed down now, but that heat of the moment, it caught me at the wrong time."Garland (4-2) dominated the Astros one night after Mat Latos threw eight shutout innings in a 7-0 San Diego victory. Padres catcher Torrealba said Garland was just as precise as Latos was."He was basically throwing every pitch I wanted him to, exactly where I wanted him to," Torrealba said.Paulino retired the first 12 hitters he faced, striking out five. Garland set down the first 10 batters he faced before Jeff Keppinger's one-out single in the fourth.Headley led off the fifth with a single up the middle. He advanced on Will Venable's groundout to first baseman Lance Berkman and scored on Torrealba's single to center.Hunter Pence started the Astros' half of the fifth with an infield single, his third hit in his last 20 at-bats. Pedro Feliz flied out and with Matsui batting, Pence was caught stealing on a pinpoint throw from Torrealba, and Matsui grounded out to end another easy inning for Garland."We just aren't hitting the ball," Bourn said. "Pitching is there. Defense is there. You have to have three phases of the game, and the one phase just isn't there."Paulino hit Scott Hairston with a pitch leading off the sixth. He went to second when Paulino overthrew Berkman on a pick-off attempt and reached third on David Eckstein's infield hit. Adrian Gonzalez struck out before Headley drove in Hairston with a sacrifice fly to left.Torrealba led off the seventh with a single, but Paulino struck out the next three hitters to set a new career mark and keep San Diego from stretching its lead."This is a guy throwing 97 [mph]," Torrealba said of Paulino. "It doesn't really feel like 97, but the ball gets on you quick. He's a young guy, and he's only going to get better."Brandon Lyon relieved Paulino for the eighth, and escaped a two-out, bases-loaded jam when Torrealba flied out.Matsui reached on a fielder's choice after Feliz walked in the eighth against Adams. Matsui stole second and scored on Blum's pinch-hit single to right.
Garland hasn't allowed a home run in his last five starts. ... Black said an MRI showed that Padres RHP Chris Young has a right shoulder strain. Black said Young, on the disabled list since April 7, will be re-evaluated in 2/3 weeks. ... The Astros activated infielder Chris Johnson from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Johnson had been on the disabled list since April 20 with a strained right intercostal muscle and had been rehabbing at the Astros' spring training complex in Kissimmee, Fla., since Wednesday.
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HOUSTON - MAY 08: Pitcher Jon Garland #27 of the San Diego Padres throws in the first inning againt the Houston...