Correia carried a shutout into the seventh inning and combined with three relievers on a two-hitter in the Padres' 4-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.Correia, a sub-.500 career pitcher, retired the first 14 batters before Orlando Cabrera hit a two-out double down the right-field line in the fourth inning."He's finding the strike zone with good pitches," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "The walks are down; the hits are down. Hopefully, he realizes that he's capable of doing that each and every time out."Correia (4-5) allowed one run on two hits, struck out seven and walked one as he dominated the struggling A's. Oakland has scored just 47 runs in its last 15 games.Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run home run and Henry Blanco added a solo shot for the Padres, who raised their interleague record to 2-7, the worst mark in the majors. San Diego won for just the sixth time in 32 interleague games since June 20, 2007.With ace Jake Peavy and Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list, there is additional pressure on Correia, who has the most career starts on San Diego's inexperienced starting staff.Correia, who has pitched in parts of seven major league seasons, has 60 career starts and 184 appearances overall with a record of 18-27."I'm still getting experience as a starter," Correia said. "With some of these other guys being hurt, I feel like I really need to get some innings and give a good effort."Correia has four straight strong starts, including his last outing when he tied his career high with eight innings in a 5-0 loss to Seattle on Tuesday when the only two hits he allowed were solo homers. In his last four starts, Correia is 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA, having allowed just six earned runs in 26 2/3 innings."His confidence is high. Let's just have him keep growing," Black said."He was really tough to hit," Cabrera said. "He was throwing it on the corners and he was able to get ahead in the count and make pitches."Kouzmanoff hit a two-run homer, his ninth, off reliever Russ Springer in the eighth inning and Blanco hit a solo shot in the fifth off Dallas Braden (5-6) to put San Diego ahead 2-0."I've been fortunate to get some pitches to hit and I've been hitting them," Kouzmanoff said. "I think it's confidence and going up there trusting your hands and know you're going to get a good pitch to hit."Mike Adams, Edward Mujica and Heath Bell, who pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances, combined for 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief. Bell tied Brian Fuentes of the Los Angeles Angels for the major league lead in saves.With the Padres leading 2-0 in the seventh, Correia issued a leadoff walk to Jack Cust, then got two outs before Ryan Sweeney sliced a ball to left field that eluded a diving Kyle Blanks for an RBI double. Adams replaced Correia and retired Cabrera on a ground ball.Edgar Gonzalez drove in the Padres' first run with a double that scored Blanks in the second. Blanks, who started in left field for the second straight game after making his major league debut Friday night as a pinch hitter, had walked with one out.Braden allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. The lefty struck out six and walked one.Braden came in having received the third lowest run support in the AL. The Athletics have scored one run or less in eight of his 15 starts."My goal is always nine innings, no walks, no hits, no runs," Braden said. "I'm not the guy to talk to about the guys who are swinging it."San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez went hitless in four at-bats and is now 0 for 8 since reaching base in 11 consecutive plate appearances. Gonzalez, tied for second in the majors in home runs with 22, came to bat with runners on base each time and stranded five.Gonzalez played in his 275th consecutive game to take over the lead among active players when both Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (343 games) and Minnesota's Justin Morneau (319) did not play Sunday.
Braden set a career high for starts, breaking the 14 he made as a rookie with the A's in 2007. ... Edgar Gonzalez started in place of right fielder Brian Giles for the fourth time in five games. ... The fathers of Giles, Edgar and Adrian Gonzalez, Luke Gregorson, Kouzmanoff, Cla Meredith, Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Tony Gwynn and Correia threw out the first pitch to their respective sons before the game in honor of Father's Day.