Hairston's blast powers PadresApr 2, 2008 - 6:09 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Even without his best stuff, Chris Young showed he can dominate at Petco Park.
Young turned in another solid pitching effort at home and Scott Hairston belted a two-run homer to lift the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night in the second of a four-game set.
The 6-10 righthander struggled at times with his location but lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits despite walking five batters against three strikeouts.
Continuing a trend of dominance in pitcher-friendly Petco since the beginning of the 2007 season, Young (1-0) improved his home ERA over that span to 1.68.
"I thought overall Chris threw the ball well," Padres manager Bud Black said. "His command was in and out a little bit, but he made some key pitches. It was one of those games where he kept them in check in a low-scoring game, and I think he deserved to win it."
Joe Thatcher issued a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to cut the lead in half, but escaped without further damage before Cla Meredith and Heath Bell each tossed a scoreless frame.
All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman worked around an infield single by Hunter Pence in the ninth to convert his first save chance of the season.
"You try not to make any particular opportunity greater than others, but the first one of the season is always very important," Hoffman said. "It was a tight ballgame. The team played well tonight and this was one we wanted to get."
Hairston provided all of the offense San Diego needed when he deposited a fourth-inning offering from Houston starter Brandon Backe into the left-field seats to build a 2-0 advantage.
"(The pitch to Hairston) wasn't high and it wasn't low," Backe said. "It was right down the middle and screaming, 'Hit me!' When that is the outcome of the game in the fourth inning, you wish you could have it back."
Houston loaded the bases in the top of fourth thanks to two walks issued by Young, but the 6-10 righthander struck out Backe to end the threat.
"I was just trying to make good pitches in some pretty tight situations and I felt like, for the most part, I was able to do so," Young said. "There are going to be times over the course of the season where you're in some jams like that and you're able to find your way out without giving up too much damage, and tonight I was able to do so."
Backe (0-1), coming off a 2007 campaign in which he made just five starts after recovering from elbow surgery, surrendered two runs over five innings while striking out three and walking three.
"I'm definitely happy," Backe said. "I think the goal for any starter is to leave with the game up for grabs. I think I gave my team a chance to win the ballgame, but I would've liked to have gone another inning. I felt like for the most part, I was doing my job out there."
Miguel Tejada singled and scored the lone run of the season for the Astros, who have managed just 10 hits in two games.
"We'll get there, I don't have any doubt about it," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "You're not going to see this team struggle like that a lot. But, good pitchers will control good hitters for the most part, and tonight they did again."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
SAN DIEGO 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 x 2 9 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: HOU - BRANDON BACKE, OSCAR VILLARREAL (6TH), DOUG BROCAIL (8TH) AND
SDG - CHRIS YOUNG, JOE THATCHER (6TH), CLA MEREDITH
(7TH), HEATH BELL (8TH), TREVOR
Apr 2 1:01 AM
AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
BASES LOADED WALK TO MICHAEL BOURN SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BOURN ON FIRST, J CRUZ JR ON SECOND, T
WIGGINTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
SAN DIEGO 2 TOP, 6TH
DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.143, 1-FOR-3)
Astros 1, Padres 2 Top 6, 0 OutsApr 2 12:02 AM
AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY SCOTT HAIRSTON (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
IN THE 4TH OFF BRANDON BACKE SCORED KEVIN KOUZMANOFF.
CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 0, SAN DIEGO 2
DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K GREENE (.600, 1-FOR-1)
Astros 0, Padres 2 Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 1 11:18 PM
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