MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ismael Valdez made a small adjustment to his
motion, and it made all the difference.
Valdez pitched seven strong innings for his first victory in
over a month, leading the San Diego Padres over the Milwaukee
Brewers 5-2 Sunday.
"I kept the ball down and my pitches were working a lot
better," he said.
The change came after a bullpen session Thursday in which he
realized what he was doing wrong.
"My body was going toward first base instead of toward home
plate," Valdez said, adding that he also moved to the left side of
the rubber to help his balance.
Valdez (4-2), who had not won since beating Montreal April 27 to
run his record to 3-0, gave up nine hits and two runs. In his
previous five starts, he had two losses and three no-decisions.
"Tip your hat to Valdez," Keith Ginter said. He kept the ball
down. He made pitches that kept us off balance."
Valdez helped his own cause with an RBI ground-rule double with
two outs in the sixth inning to make it 5-1 -- and got plenty of
support from his teammates.
"I guess I'm lucky," Valdez said. "I really don't know how I
hit that ball. I'm glad that I could help the team in any way."
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15
Milwaukee failed to score more than three runs for the eighth
time in nine games. The Brewers beat San Diego 4-3 on Saturday
getting just four hits.
Manager Ned Yost had a simple explanation for the lack of runs.
"We had opportunities. We got a bunch of hits but didn't drive
in the runs," Yost said of the Brewers, who left 12 runners on
Victor Santos (2-2) lost his second straight start as he gave up
eight hits and five runs in six innings, but Yost was not down on
"Vic kept us in the game. We had opportunities. We didn't pick
upon those opportunities," he said.
Nevin's fifth homer of the season, in the fifth inning, gave the
Padres a 4-1 lead.
"It was actually a good pitch, one you're not expecting to hit
out of the park in that situation," Nevin said of Santos' 0-2
splitfinger fastball. "Maybe it was a little up. That one just
happened to hit the barrel, to be honest with you."
Counsell's RBI double in the seventh inning pulled the Brewers
to 5-2 and chased Valdez. Scott Linebrink relieved Valdez with no
outs but retired the side.
^Notes:@ Milwaukee on Monday begins a nine-game, 11-day road trip in
Los Angeles. The club was 3-3 on its homestand. ... Brewer
outfielder Jenkins extended his errorless streak to 181 games. The
streak began June 4, 2002, against the Cubs. Fans at the game
received a Jenkins bobblehead doll. ... Santos had a single in the
fourth inning for his first hit of the season and second of his
career. ... The Padres return home Monday after a long road trip to
face Colorado. Adam Eaton (1-5) will take the mound for San Diego.
... Valdez's last start against Milwaukee was one to forget. On
August 6, 2000, he gave up seven runs in 1 1-3 innings for Los