Klesko has three RBI on four hits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Robert Fick crouched behind the plate for the first time this season. The way Brian Lawrence was throwing, he barely had to move his glove.

Filling in for injured catcher Ramon Hernandez, Fick had three hits, two runs and an RBI to help Lawrence and the San Diego Padres
end a five-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

"I was very comfortable with him back there," Lawrence said. "A good target, good soft hands. Made the ball look really good."

Ryan Klesko had four hits and three RBI, getting San Diego started with a solo homer, his 12th, in the first inning. Lawrence (4-6) took over from there, baffling Minnesota with his sinker, slider and sidearm delivery over 7 1/3 strong innings.

"I don't think it really mattered what I called," said Fick, who has played mostly in the outfield this year since being called up from the minors in May.

The Padres, just 4-12 in June, finished with 16 hits. Their seven runs, the most they've scored since May 31, gave them 44 for the month. Just two weeks ago, they were second in the NL in runs -- but their scoring drought this month has been a big reason for the slump. All this after going 22-6 in May, setting a franchise record for wins in a month.

"Obviously, we haven't been scoring a lot of runs and doing what we want to do up there," Klesko said. "We were kind of in a lull for a while. It's a good stepping stone for us to start with."

The Twins were ready to run on Fick, but they couldn't get anybody on base to do so. Lawrence gave up five hits, two runs and a walk while striking out three.

He loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs, following a pair of singles and his second hit batter of the game, but struck out Michael Cuddyer on a slider out of the strike zone to end the threat.

The right-hander didn't give up a hit until Joe Mauer's single in the fourth. He won for the first time in four starts.

"Just like flipping a coin sometimes to see where it's going," Minnesota's Shannon Stewart said. "The kid's good, though."

Twins starter Brad Radke lasted only five innings because of a stiff neck that's been bothering him for a few weeks. It's affecting his velocity, keeping his fastball in the mid-80s.

"I just felt like it was getting worse as the game went on," said Radke, who told the coaching staff about the problem for the first time. He'll be evaluated further in the coming days.

In his past five outings, Radke (5-6) has won just once and yielded 42 hits and 18 runs in 29 2/3 innings. He walked a season-high two.

The first inning was typical -- Klesko homered with two outs, into the stacks of football seats above the right field wall, to stick Minnesota in an early hole. In 15 starts, Radke has given up eight first-inning homers. Opponents are batting .397 against him in the
opening frame.

Phil Nevin got hit by a pitch on the hand to start a two-run second. Sean Burroughs' run-scoring groundout and Khalil Greene's
two-out RBI single stretched the Padres' lead to three.

Radke deftly escaped a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the fifth on a dribbler in front of the plate, a three-pitch strikeout and a bouncer back to the mound. He threw 83 pitches, yielding seven hits and three runs with three strikeouts.

"That wasn't going to get it done," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Matt Guerrier gave up two runs in the seventh, when Fick led off with a triple down the left field line that got stuck behind reliever J.C. Romero's chair in the bullpen.

Fick scored on Klesko's fluke single, which shortstop Luis Rodriguez lost in the ceiling and watched drop in front of Stewart in shallow left. Burroughs made it 5-1 with a two-out single.

For good measure, Fick hit an RBI single and Klesko drove him in with a double to make it 7-1 in the eighth against Terry Mulholland.

Game notes
Hernandez, who left Friday night's game with a sore left wrist sustained while diving back into first base, was unable to play. Manager Bruce Bochy said he's a few days away and will be re-evaluated Sunday afternoon. ... Radke hasn't won an interleague game in four seasons. He beat the Reds with a complete game on July 8, 2001. ... Damian Jackson replaced Klesko in left for the eighth and, with a leaping catch, took a two-run homer away from Stewart. ... Minnesota's Jacque Jones ended an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the seventh.