<
>

Lawrence ties career-high 10 strikeouts

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have managed to win
recently despite struggling at the plate. Brian Lawrence put a stop
to that.

Lawrence tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in seven solid
innings and Mark Loretta hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh,
leading the San Diego Padres to a 5-3 win over Milwaukee Friday
night.

The Brewers had won six of their previous nine games, despite an
offensive slump that produced just 24 runs.

"You're really walking a tightrope," Brewers manager Ned Yost
said. "That puts so much pressure on a pitching staff. It's so
much easier for a starting pitcher to go out there with a three- or
four-run lead. If a guy gets on, you can still afford to make a
mistake and survive it."

That wasn't the case Friday night.

After the Brewers took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, Jay
Payton tied it with a two-run single after the Brewers made two
errors on Brian Giles' ground ball. Loretta had a run scoring
single in the seventh and pinch hitter Sean Burroughs hit a two-run
homer in the ninth.

Lawrence (7-3) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits,
and didn't walk a batter for the first time this season. He fanned
10 for the third time in his career, and first since Aug. 2, 2002,
against Cincinnati.

"I felt as good as I've felt in a couple of years," said
Lawrence, who is tied with Houston's Roger Clemens and Cincinnati's
Paul Wilson for most wins in the NL.

Lawrence gave up a two-run homer to Ben Grieve in the fourth
after Craig Counsell reached on catcher's interference. It was his
only costly mistake.

"He pitched great," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had
great location and velocity and only got one pitch up."

Akinori Otsuka pitched a hitless eighth, and Trevor Hoffman
allowed an RBI double by Geoff Jenkins in the ninth before
finishing for his 13th save in 14 chances when Junior Spivey flied
out to right on a 3-0 fastball.

"You know he's trying to throw a fastball for a strike. If he
gets a fastball for a strike, he's not going to throw you another
one," Yost said. "So I thought the best opportunity for us right
there to get a big blow was to go ahead and let Junior swing 3-0,
get a fastball and see if he can put it in the seats and he almost
did."

With the game tied 2-2, Loretta gave the Padres a lead in the
seventh inning when he drove a low pitch from Milwaukee starter
Doug Davis (3-4) to left, scoring Ramon Hernandez from second.

Davis did not allow a hit until Payton's infield single leading
off the fifth.

Burroughs homered off Luis Vizcaino with one out in the ninth to
give the Padres a 5-2 lead.

The Brewers had been overcoming their anemic offense with
stellar pitching, especially by a bullpen that allowed just one run
in 15 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers this week.

"We've been relying a lot on our pitchers," Grieve said.
"Hopefully when the offense does come around, the pitchers will
still be throwing like they are now."

Game notes
Giles was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a
called strike three. He was replaced by Terrence Long. ... Padres
OF Ryan Klesko (rib) was placed on the 15-day DL. OF Jon Knott was
called up from Triple-A Portland. ... Brewers OF Scott Podsednik
sat out his first start in 85 straight games dating back to Aug.
14, 2003. He entered the game in the eight inning as a pinch hitter
and finished the game in center field. ... SS J.J. Hardy, the top
prospect in the Brewers' farm system, underwent arthroscopic
surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder Friday. Dr.
Lewis Yocum performed the operation in Los Angeles. Hardy can begin
rehab immediately, and the Brewers said they expect him to be ready
for spring training.