Padres end 3-3 road trip with a 5-2 win over the Rockies

Sunday May 31, 2009

The San Diego Padres defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2 today at Coors Field in Denver to improve their record on the season to .500 at 25-25. The Padres 3-3 record on this road trip was a big improvement over their 5-16 road record going into it.

The game was highlighted by Adrian Gonzalez’s league leading 20th home run and closer Heath Bell’s league leading 15th save.

When was the last time Padres fans could talk about having two league leaders in a positive category on the roster?

Gonzalez crushed a 3 run shot to left field in the 3rd inning that staked Padres starter Chad Gaudin to a 3 run lead. Gonzalez is now the Padres all time leader in home runs through the end of May and he did it in just 179 at bats. Greg Vaughan had been the previous leader with 17 home runs through the end of May in his Padres record 50 home run season in 1998.

Gaudin went 6 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 runs (1 earned), striking out 9 including 6 of the 1st 8 batters he faced while walking zero. Gaudin had been plagued by wildness recently, walking 16 in 15 2/3 ip over his last 3 starts prior to today, so it was nice to see him attacking hitters and throwing strikes.

One day after blowing his first save of the season, Bell came in and pitched a perfect 9th for his 15th save of the season.

As much as I howled about the trade that sent Jody Gerut to the Brewers for Tony Gwynn Jr., I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by the offensive production by Jr. He is 10/25 – .320 with 8 runs scored in 9 games. His defense has been less than stellar, but his offense has been outstanding.

The Padres now return to San Diego for a 6 game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks starting tomorrow. The Padres split a series 2-1 with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia in April as part of a 9-3 start.

Kevin Correia will square up against the Phillies’ Joe Blanton in the series opener tomorrow, followed by gimping Padres starter Jake Peavy against rookie Antonio Bastardo in his first major league start on Tuesday.

Can the Padres continue their .739 win percentage at home against the defending World Series champion Phillies and the division rival Diamondbacks?

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