SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Richard was impressive in his first start for San Diego, but it took a mistake by Ryan Braun to give the Padres a win.
Richard made a solid impression in his first outing after being included in the Jake Peavy trade and the San Diego Padres took advantage of Braun's outfield miscue to score the go-ahead run in a 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.Richard was scheduled to pitch for the Chicago White Sox on Friday night against the New York Yankees. But instead, the 4-for-1 trade on Friday afternoon that sent four pitchers to the Padres for Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, put Richard en route to San Diego.After a few stops he got into San Diego in enough time to grab a quick nap before making his first start an impressive one for the Padres."Competition usually takes over the tiredness," Richard said. "I felt fine, I felt good out there."The left-hander held the Brewers to one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings but got no decision. It took Braun misplaying a fly ball from pinch hitter Oscar Salazar into a double for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. San Diego won its fifth consecutive game, the Padres' longest streak since winning 10 in a row from May 15-25.San Diego had 12 hits, one game after it had season highs in runs (11) and hits (17) in an 11-7 win over the Brewers on Friday night. It also marked the fifth consecutive game that San Diego had 10 or more hits, the first time that's happened since April 2007."When you are getting hits like that, especially in clutch situations, you're going to be competitive," said Padres center fielder Tony Gwynn, who went 2-for-5. "This was another complete team effort."Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 chances to complete the combined four-hitter against Milwaukee, which lost for the seventh time in 10 games.The Brewers, held to one hit through five innings by Richard, tied the game at 2-all in the sixth on solo homers by Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee on consecutive pitches.San Diego came right back in the bottom of the inning when rookie Everth Cabrera tripled off Mike Burns (2-4) with two outs. Burns appeared to get out of the inning when Salazar hit a fly ball to left field. But Braun broke in on the ball and it sailed over his head and rolled to the wall for a run-scoring double."That's the toughest play as an outfielder, the ball hit right at you," Braun said. "As an outfielder, it's going to happen. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time."Richard pitched strongly into the sixth inning after not allowing a hit until the fifth inning. He struck out five and walked three."The big thing is getting ahead of hitters and keeping the ball down," Richard said. "Those are my keys."Richard gave up one run over eight innings in each of his final two starts for the White Sox. Overall in his last three starts, he has allowed three earned runs and 11 hits in 21 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.25.He was removed from the game after allowing Fielder's solo homer, his 26th, to right field with two outs in the sixth inning that cut San Diego's lead to 2-1.McGehee then followed with a home run on the first pitch off reliever Greg Burke (3-3) to tie the score 2-2.Burns made his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Friday to replace Jeff Suppan, who went on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. The righty gave up three runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.Rookie Will Venable hit a solo homer in the second inning to put the Padres on top 1-0. It was the third straight game that Venable has homered and he has driven in eight runs in that span.Kevin Kouzmanoff had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to put the Padres ahead 2-0. Gwynn added an RBI single in the ninth to score pinch-hitter Chase Headley, who reached on a two-out double.
With the loss, Milwaukee is 0-6-2 in its last eight series. The Brewers, who lost Friday night to San Diego, have not won a series since taking two of three against the Mets from June 29 through July 1.