SAN DIEGO -- After 32 home games, the San Diego Padres finally have consecutive wins at spacious Petco Park.
Aaron Harang pitched into the seventh inning, Brad Hawpe had a two-run double and the Padres beat the Houston Astros 6-3 on Saturday night.Overall, it was San Diego's 11th home win this season and the third time the Padres scored at least six runs at Petco Park. Ryan Ludwick scored three times and rookie Logan Forsythe put the Padres ahead with his first big league RBI."There's no doubt, it's been well-chronicled that our record isn't where we need it to be at home and we're going to try to do everything we can to catch up in that regard," manager Bud Black said.Harang (6-2) did his part, holding the Astros to two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.Harang, who joined his hometown Padres in the offseason, matched his win total from each of the last three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, when he struggled because of back spasms."I don't really focus on that," he said. "Yeah, it is nice to be able to get that kind of niche off my back that I wasn't healthy the last couple years. I just wasn't pitching well. Yeah I did battle some injuries the last couple years, but this game is weird, man. It's a very humbling game. Things work out in funny ways. I'm just excited how things are going now and I'm excited how we're playing."Heath Bell came on with runners on first and second and no outs in the ninth and finished for his 16th save in 17 chances. Michael Bourn hit a one-out RBI double, but Bell struck out Clint Barmes, who homered in the third, and got Hunter Pence to fly out to right field to end it.Ernesto Frieri started the ninth by walking Angel Sanchez and allowing a single by J.R. Towles.Harang hit Chris Johnson with a pitch leading off the second. Johnson eventually scored when Towles reached on an error by second baseman Angel Sanchez, pulling the Astros within one.The Astros opened that inning with runners on second and third and no outs, and ended up stranding runners at second and third. In the fifth, they stranded a runner on third."It would have been nice if with runners at second and third with no outs we could have gotten another run," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "Then, in the fifth, we weren't able to get one there."All of the Padres' runs came with two outs."We've talked about finishing off hitters, finishing off innings," Mills said. "At the same time, that's when they're trying to get hits as well."Barmes tied it at 2 when led off the third with his third homer.The Padres regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Forsythe doubled to left to bring in Ludwick, who walked with two outs."It feels real good," Forsythe said. "It was a big situation, it put us up, and it's even nicer with two outs. I got a pitch and tried to be aggressive. That's what I'm trying to get my swing to, is a little bit more aggressive."The Padres piled on in the eighth with Alberto Gonzalez's RBI single and Rob Johnson's two-run base hit.Chase Headley, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, and Ludwick hit consecutive singles with two outs in the first. Hawpe brought them both in when he doubled into the right-field corner.Pence tied his career high by extending his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the first.Houston's Aneury Rodriguez (0-3) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.
Sunday's series finale has been pushed back from a normal 1:05 p.m. start to 3:35 p.m. to accommodate the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. The course will go through the Park at the Park beyond center field at Petco Park. ... Harang has worked at least six innings in 10 of his 12 starts this season. Over his last four starts, he has allowed six runs in 27 2/3 innings (1.95 ERA).