SAN DIEGO (AP) -- While Adrian Gonzalez continues to just flat
out hit, Petco Park is quickly losing its reputation as a pitcher's
Mike Piazza homered for his 1,999th career hit, Mike Cameron hit
a two-run shot and Gonzalez had three more hits to lead the San
Diego Padres a 10-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on
Tuesday night.The teams combined for four homers and 11 other extra-base hits.
The Padres' spacious downtown ballpark has surrendered 24 homers in
the last five games, including a Petco-record 16 in a three-game
weekend series against Atlanta. The Braves hit 11 while sweeping
the Padres.Overall, 120 homers have been hit here through 52 games this
season, on pace to shatter the mark of 132 set in 2004, the year
Petco opened. Last season, 118 homers were hit at Petco.After listening to their sluggers gripe for the better part of
two seasons about the outfield dimensions, the Padres brought in
the fence in right-center in the offseason, from 411 feet to 402.
It's also 402 feet in the left-center gap.Theories on the increasing number of homers range from the
recent high temperatures to several condo towers being built around
the park that might be affecting wind flow.Then again, Padres manager Bruce Bochy offered the simplest
theory."There are mistakes," Bochy said. "If you square up and hit
it decent, it's going to go out of here. I don't want to sound like
this is Coors Field. These balls are hit well. I think it's a very,
very fair ballpark. I just think there's a few mistakes being
made."Whatever the case, the Padres have been outhomered 209-161 since
Petco opened.Gonzalez has been on a tear since the All-Star break. He had
three hits, including an RBI double, making him 10-for-22 with 12
RBI in five games. He also has five homers and eight runs scored.
Gonzalez has driven in 21 runs this month."Gonzalez is locked in," Bochy said of the first baseman, who
has taken full advantage of Ryan Klesko's shoulder injury to have a
sensational first full season in the big leagues.Gonzalez grew up in the San Diego area and was the first pick
overall in the 2000 draft, by Florida. He played in only 16 games
with Texas in 2004, and 43 last year before being obtained by the
Padres in a six-player trade on Jan. 4."I haven't really had much of an opportunity to be locked in as
a major leaguer," Gonzalez said. "In Texas, I'd play two games
and then sit for two or three. Just the fact that I'm playing every
day, there are going to be some times when I'm locked in and there
are going to be times when I don't have any idea what's going on at
the plate."Right now I feel good. I have a good plan. I'm going to try to
stay consistent with what I'm doing right now and hopefully it can
stay with me for a while."Aaron Rowand and Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, both
off Clay Hensley (6-7), who left after six innings with a 7-2 lead.
Hensley held the Phillies to two runs and four hits before the
bullpen allowed three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Hensley took the loss in relief on Friday night, when Atlanta won
15-12 in 11 innings in the highest-scoring game ever at Petco.Chase Utley highlighted the seventh with a two-run single that
extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Rollins had three hits.But the Phillies lost for the sixth time in 10 games, which has
allowed the surging Braves to take over second in the NL East."We have to make things happen," Utley said. "Whether it's
pitching or hitting, we have a small margin for error. We can't be
losing series like this."With the score tied at 2, Piazza led off the fourth by homering
off Ryan Madson into the balcony on the third level of the Western
Metal Supply Co. Building just beyond the left-field corner. It was
his 14th. Piazza also singled in the first.The Padres scored four runs in the sixth to chase Madson (8-7).
The runs came in on a triple by rookie Josh Barfield, doubles by
Gonzalez and Geoff Blum, and Khalil Greene's sacrifice fly.In the Padres' first, Dave Roberts hit a leadoff double to left
before Cameron homered into the second-level balcony on the brick
warehouse, his 12th.Rowand homered to left with two outs in the second, his ninth,
and Rollins hit a shot to right with one out in the third, his
10th.Dave Roberts also had three hits for San Diego, including a
two-run double in the ninth.Hensley struck out five and walked three. Madson allowed seven
runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked one."I don't know what happened," Madson said. "I tried to mix it
up. In the later innings, I felt out of rhythm."
The Padres have reached double digits in hits in each of
the last seven games. ... RHP Mike Thompson will be recalled from
Triple-A Portland on Wednesday to start for the Padres in place of
RHP Chris Young, who has a stress reaction in his right foot.