Maddux's winless streak reaches nine as Pads blow 3-0 lead

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- When Greg Maddux beat the Colorado Rockies on May 10, he became the ninth big league pitcher to reach 350 victories.

Getting to 351 is proving to be a struggle.

Maddux's winless streak reached nine starts, the second-longest drought of his brilliant career, when the Minnesota Twins beat the San Diego Padres 9-3 Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Minnesota's entire winning streak has come against NL teams. San Diego has lost four in a row and nine of 11.

"Beating Maddux is pretty exciting for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We got behind 3-0. You don't want to get behind that guy too often. It was a good night for us swinging the bats."

Brendan Harris hit his second go-ahead homer in two nights, a two-run shot, and Maddux (3-6) squandered an early lead. Pinch-hitter Craig Monroe added a two-run drive for the Twins and Carlos Gomez had three hits. Justin Morneau went 0-for-4 with a walk, ending his 12-game hitting streak.

Although he doesn't have a win in a month and a half, Maddux hasn't pitched badly, with a 2.70 ERA in his previous eight starts.

Against the Twins, though, he didn't have his usual pinpoint location. He allowed six earned runs, his most since yielding a career-high nine in a 9-0 loss at Arizona on April 18. He gave up seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.

"I obviously deserved to lose tonight," Maddux said. "I didn't pitch good tonight. I didn't locate my fastball tonight.

"I did blow a three-run lead today. You blow a three-run lead, you're not supposed to win anyway."

Maddux's longest winless stretch is 13 starts from May 11 to July 14, 1990, with the Chicago Cubs.

In his 23rd season, the 42-year-old Maddux dropped to 0-3 in his last nine starts. San Diego is 5-4 in those games.

Maddux left to a nice ovation from the crowd of 22,324. A night earlier, Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, baseball's career saves leader, was booed after giving up homers on consecutive pitches to Harris and Brian Buscher in the ninth inning of Minnesota's 3-1 win.

San Diego took a 3-0 lead against Glen Perkins (4-2). Kevin Kouzmanoff hit an RBI triple in the two-run first inning and Scott Hairston had an RBI double in the second.

Maddux gave it all back in the third, when the Twins scored three runs on three hits and a hit batsman. The big hit was a two-run double by Joe Mauer.

The Twins went ahead on Harris' two-run shot with one out in the fourth that was caught by a fan in the first row of the second deck in left field. It was Harris' fourth. Michael Cuddyer was aboard on an error by Kouzmanoff at third.

Harris said it was "pretty cool" to homer off Hoffman and Maddux on consecutive nights.

"I'm not going to say that they are just another couple of home runs," said Harris, who has 19 career homers.

He connected on a changeup.

"I was really trying to move up on the plate. His ball was really running back and I really couldn't pull the trigger on it in the third inning. I moved up and it just kind of came back over the plate," Harris said.

The Twins are last in the majors with 50 homers yet have hit four in two games at spacious Petco Park.

"He got me," Maddux said. "That was either real bad pitching or real good hitting, however you want to look at it."

Maddux was chased by Carlos Gomez's two-run single with two outs in the sixth that made it 7-3.

Monroe homered off Mike Adams in the eighth, his seventh.

Perkins went five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. Three Twins relievers allowed only two hits in the last four innings.

Game notes
San Diego rookie Carlos Guevara, who relieved Maddux, left the game after being hit on the lower right leg by Morneau's comebacker leading off the seventh. He has a bruise and is day-to-day. ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Cato June threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He's a California native and was a starter on the Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl championship team in 2006. ... San Diego fell to 3-11 in interleague play this season and 83-107 overall.