SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Sent to San Diego because he couldn't handle
Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, catcher Josh Bard has bonded with Chan
Ho Park in just two starts.
Park had another strong outing, and Bard hit a two-run double
and made a nice defensive play to lead the Padres to their 10th
victory in 11 games, 3-0 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday
night.The victory came a night after the Padres had their nine-game
winning streak ended by the Brewers.Park scattered seven hits in six innings, running his scoreless
innings streak to 15 and winning for the first time in four starts.
Park (2-1) pitched nine scoreless innings in his previous start,
but it took the Padres 11 innings before they beat the Chicago Cubs
1-0 on Friday, leaving him with a second straight no-decision."He's throwing the ball great," Bard said. "I would give the
credit to him. He's been doing a great job of pounding the strike
zone. He's been a pleasure to work with. The biggest thing I'm
trying to do is just make him believe that he's got great stuff,
because he does have great stuff."Bard had 10 passed balls catching Wakefield before he was traded
from Boston to San Diego on May 1 for Doug Mirabelli.Park improved to 7-0 lifetime against Milwaukee. He struck out
four and walked one.Park credited outfielders Mike Cameron and Brian Giles for
making great catches. "And also, I had a good catcher back there
calling the right pitches, so that helps and makes me more
comfortable and confident," Park said.Trevor Hoffman, who took the loss Tuesday night, pitched the
ninth for his sixth save in six chances. Hoffman is second on the
career saves list with 442, 36 behind Lee Smith.Brewers lefty Chris Capuano (4-3) struck out six in six innings
but had his personal three-game winning streak snapped.Bard came up big in both the top and bottom of the fourth.With two out and the Brewers' Corey Koskie on first, Brady Clark
hit a fly into shallow right that landed just beyond first baseman
Mark Bellhorn. Koskie reached third, and, seeing Clark starting to
go to second, headed home. Bard took the throw from shortstop
Khalil Greene and was bowled over as he tagged Koskie, but held
onto the ball.Bard didn't think the play fired up his team."Our team's focused and trying to go out there and play good
baseball regardless of whether someone's trying to run you over,"
he said. "That's the key for us to grind this out for 162 games."Cameron raced to the center-field fence to catch a drive by Bill
Hall in the fifth, and Giles made a sliding catch of Prince
Fielder's sinking liner in the sixth, then doubled Carlos Lee off
first."We smoked about 10 balls at them," Brewers manager Ned Yost
said. "They made great plays in the outfield. We just didn't have
anything to show for it. They did a great job defensively."Said Bard: "I can't say enough about what Cam is doing out in
center field. I mean, he's saving us from a ton of runs and a ton
of big innings. Right now he's an underappreciated guy on this
team. The plays he's making, I mean, it's the equivalent of driving
in three or four runs a game."Bard doubled down the right-field line with one out in the
fourth to score Greene, who hit a leadoff single, and Josh
Barfield, who walked with one out. After Park singled, Bard scored
on Eric Young's single to right.Capuano allowed three runs and six hits. He struck out six and
Actor Bill Murray visited the Padres clubhouse with former
Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe after the game. When Sutcliffe
introduced Murray to Mark Bellhorn, who was seated, the actor
hugged the infielder tightly and the two tumbled onto the ground.
"You were a Cub!" Murray said. ... Bellhorn struck out four
times. ... Fielder, the Brewers' rookie 1B, was back in the lineup.
He sat out Tuesday night due to the groin tightness that forced him
out of Sunday's game at Los Angeles. ... The Brewers recalled LHP
Dana Eveland from Triple-A Nashville after placing Ben Sheets on
the 15-day disabled list because of tendinitis in his right
shoulder. Eveland is scheduled to start Saturday night at home
against the New York Mets. ... Padres manager Bruce Bochy is giving
C Mike Piazza two games off, although he pinch hit Wednesday night.
Rookie Rob Bowen is scheduled to start Thursday and catch ace Jake
Peavy. Piazza is scheduled to start Friday at the Chicago Cubs.