Monday, April 27, 2009

Padres-Pirates: Peavy Struggles Again, Padres Lose 8-3

Jake Peavy cruised through the first three innings, striking out four batters and only giving up two hits and with a 2-run home run from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, his seventh of the year, it looked like the Padres would have an easy time in the rubber match against the Pirates.

But it wouldn't go the way the Padres, or ace Jake Peavy, wanted it to go as the Pirates got to Peavy for five runs in the fourth and fifth inning as they beat the Padres 8-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The trouble started for Peavy in the fourth inning, giving up a lead single to left fielder Brandon Moss and then walking first baseman Adam LaRoche, both runners advancing on a wild pitch. Peavy then got Eric Hinske and Andy LaRoche to strike out and just when it looked like he would get out of the inning unscathed he would give up a two out two run single to Robinson Diaz, tieing the game at 2-2.

In the fifth inning, Peavy got himself in trouble the same way he did in the fourth inning, giving up a lead single Nyjer Morgan and walking Ramon Vazquez. He would get Brandon Moss to pop out for the first out of the inning, but Adam LaRoche put the Pirates ahead for good as he launched a first pitch fastball to right for his fourth home run of the year to put the Pirates up 5-2. LaRoche would add his second home run of the game, and fifth of the year, off rookie Luis Perdomo in the ninth inning.

For Peavy, it wasn't the start he or his team wanted to see from their ace. With the loss, he'll drop to 2-3 on the year and his ERA is 5.74 which is not Peavy-like at all and something that may concern manager Bud Black. Peavy showed his frustration after the game saying, “This is as frustrating as it gets. We have to come in today with a better effort and that starts with me.”

This was a loss this team couldn't afford, they wanted to build their momentum back up as they finished their three game home stand against the Pirates, but they will head back out on the road after losing two of three and five of their last six games.

The Padres will start the first of a three game series Monday night against the Colorado Rockies (6-11) from Coors Field in Denver before coming back out west to Dodgers Stadium for a three game set against the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers (13-6).

The Padres will turn to their number two man, Chris Young, to stop the bleeding and keep the Rockies at bay and hope that the offense gives Young some breathing room.

On Tuesday night, Chad Gaudin will make his San Diego Padres debut as he makes his first start since being signed by the team to a minor league deal. Gaudin has looked strong through two starts for Triple-A Portland, not giving up a run on just four hits through both of his starts (8.2 IP).

In the final game of the series on Wednesday night, the Padres will have right hander Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.50) on the hill. The one thing that has gotten Correia in trouble is the same thing that got Peavy into trouble on Sunday afternoon, the amount of walks he's issued. If he can keep those down, he should be ok but if he elevates the wrong pitches and the Rockies get the ball into the thin Colorado air, it won't go well for Correia.

This should be the series to get the momentum back as the Rockies are coming off losing two of three from the Dodgers and getting outscored 74-46 from April 11-25, their team batting average dipping to .222 during that stretch before breaking out Sunday afternoon in a 10-4 win over the Dodgers where they got to Clayton Kershaw for nine runs through just four and two-third innings.

Additional Padre notes: Edgar Gonzalez, older brother of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, also homered in yesterday's game, his first of the year.

Speaking of Adrian, he continued his hitting streak in Sunday's game. His home run in the first inning extended his hitting streak to eight straight games, it was his fourth home run in the last seven games. Gonzalez also has at least 1 RBI in five of his last seven games.

After right hander Shawn Hill was put on the disabled list, Kevin Towers was quoted as saying that he is not going to look outside the organization to address their pitching needs. They have already called up Chad Gaudin to start on Tuesday night against Colorado.

With Gaudin coming up, the Padres will have to make a roster move to make room for Gaudin. They could part with reliever Eulogio De La Cruz who walked five batters and allowed two runs against the Pirates. He currently has an ERA of 5.40.

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