SAN DIEGO -- Adrian Gonzalez says Petco Park is not a
hitter's park. He didn't back up his words Monday night.
Gonzalez's second home run of the game, a three-run shot in San
Diego's four-run seventh inning, led the Padres to an 8-6 victory
over the Philadelphia Phillies. Gonzalez greeted reliever Rheal Cormier (2-2) with his 18th home
run, a drive into the bleachers in right, to give San Diego a 7-6
lead. "I don't think it's a hitter's park," said Gonzalez, who has
seven home runs in his last seven games and became the first player
to have two two-homer games at 3-year-old Petco. "Maybe there have
been more balls connected well lately, but I think it's still a
pitcher's park. It's still a flyball park, it's still a big park.
We've been to many places out of here and those parks are way more
better hitter's parks." Gonzalez's first homer, a solo shot in the sixth, came off
left-hander Cole Hamels, a San Diego native making his local debut.
It cut the Phillies lead to 4-3. Ryan Howard, who tied Albert Pujols for the National League lead
in home run, hit his 31st capping the three-run sixth off of Woody Williams.
Chase Utley, who earlier extended his career-best hitting
streak to 19 games, singled to lead off the sixth. Bobby Abreu
followed with another single before Pat Burell's sacrifice fly and
Howard's home run. The Phillies took a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh with two
runs off Clay Meredith, who relieved Williams. In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Cameron, who had hit his 11th
homer of the season in the first inning, drew a walk from reliever
Ryan Franklin. Brian Giles and Mike Piazza both singled for one
run. Cormier, a left-handed specialist, was called on to face the
left-handed Gonzalez, who sent a 1-1 pitch into the bleachers in
right to give the Padres a 7-6 lead. "It was a split-fingered fastball," Cormier said. "I just
hung the pitch where I didn't want to. I wanted to pitch middle in.
Obviously that wasn't the place I wanted the ball. He it where he
was supposed to. It was location, more than anything else." Alan Embree (3-2), who was activated from the 15-day disabled
list earlier Monday, pitched the seventh inning to pick up the
victory as the Padres snapped a three-game losing streak. Trevor Hoffman worked the ninth for his 25th save in 27
opportunities this season and the 461st of his career, 18 short of
Lee Smith's all-time record. Gonzalez, also a San Diego native, hit a fastball off Hamels for
his first home run and sent the 22-year-old rookie to the showers. Hamels, who pitched 5 2/3 innings said he was "just happy to be
here. I was really excited to be able to pitch in my hometown. And
I just wanted to perform well and put the team in a position to
win." He got his first major league hit, a single in the fifth, but it
was Gonzalez's night. "When you know you have your manager's confidence, it really
changes your attitude in everything you do out there," Gonzalez
said. "Even when I was struggling, Boch (manager Bruce Bochy)
brought me into the office and told me that I was going to be the
guy (at first base) and he told me he was going to give me a few
days off to get back to myself. And it has worked out well. "I've been able to relax and have fun with it and not try to
press or do more than I can," Gonzalez said. "He's doing some kind of job," Bochy said. "He saved us
tonight. He does it with his glove. He does it with the bat. It's
been fun to watch this kid. He's just getting better and better."
Game Notes Padres right-hander Chris Young may miss his scheduled
start on Wednesday against the Phillies. Bochy said that Young has
a "stress reaction" on his right foot and that a special shoe
will be designed to help him. Young hurt the foot running to first
base on Friday. He had both a bone scan and an MRI on Monday. ...
Utley is tied for NL hits lead with Colorado's Matt Holliday at
116. ... San Diego's Khalil Greene had his career-high nine-game
hitting streak end. ... San Diego's Josh Barfield, who had three
hits, has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games and has reached
base safely via a hit or a walk in his last 18 games. ... The
Phillies have hit 16 home runs in their last 11 road games.