Heroic Hairston KOs Cards again
Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 2:53 pm
By: By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jerry Hairston Jr. watched Albert Pujols crush a ball that ended up being caught in Petco Park’s vast center field.
An inning and a half later, with two outs in the 13th, Hairston lined a shot that cleared the fence in left-center to carry the San Diego Padres a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
“I knew I hit it well, but this ballpark sometimes holds these balls,” Hairston said. “I’m glad it went over. Everybody knows this park is really, really tough. There’s reasons why we have one-run ballgames at night here. It’s so hard to hit.”
Hairston homered on the first pitch he saw from Mitchell Boggs (0-2), the Cardinals’ seventh pitcher. It was his second.
His first came on Tuesday night, when his second-inning shot — also with two outs — carried the Padres to a 1-0 win.
“I know Boggsy; he throws extremely hard,” Hairston said. “I didn’t want to get behind on him because he can elevate or come in with a fastball, so I just wanted to get a good pitch to hit. I was able to get one and put it in play hard. Fortunately, it went over the wall.”
“I had two quick outs and I was trying to go right after him,” Boggs said. “I made a bad pitch, left it up and you have to credit him for putting a good swing on it and stepping up in a big moment.”
Hairston “took some good swings tonight throughout the course of the game,” manager Bud Black said. “He squared that one up. That was well-struck.”
Edward Mujica (2-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win.
“Boy, it was a long game,” said Hairston, who played all 13 innings at shortstop. “Man, I’m glad it’s over. I’m tired.”
The Cardinals got consecutive singles by Colby Rasmus and Yadier Molina opening the 11th, but the rally was snuffed by a double play.
Rasmus, who was on third, broke for home when Skip Schumaker hit a grounder to second baseman David Eckstein. He threw home, and catcher Yorvit Torrealba ran Rasmus back toward third before tagging him out. He then flipped the ball to shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr., who tagged Molina trying to take third. Ryan Ludwick flew out to center to end the inning.
San Diego closer Heath Bell was one strike away from earning his 14th save in 16 chances when he allowed Ludwick’s single to center to bring in Schumaker, who had doubled to center. Luis Durango couldn’t keep Schumaker’s sinking liner in front of him.
He tried to make a sliding catch but the ball bounced over his head.
“To our credit, we battled back in the ninth,” Boggs said. “That’s why it’s so difficult to be the guy who couldn’t get it done in the end.”
Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams each pitched a perfect inning ahead of Bell.
Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs doubled in Adrian Gonzalez from first base with two outs in the eighth inning to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.
Gonzalez hit a leadoff single to center off Kyle McClellan, who then struck out Chase Headley and got Torrealba to fly out to center. Stairs, pinch-hitting for Adams, hit McClellan’s first pitch into the gap in left-center field. The ball rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Gonzalez to score.
Stairs is 3-for-17 with three RBI as a pinch-hitter this year.
The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning on a bunt single by Durango and consecutive walks by Eckstein and Gonzalez before Headley took a called third strike to end the threat.
The Padres threw out two Cardinals baserunners in the first. Felipe Lopez drew a leadoff walk and Torrealba threw him out trying to steal second. The inning ended when Durango threw out John Jay trying to score on David Freese’s single.
Both starters threw six scoreless innings. San Diego’s Kevin Correia allowed five hits, walked six and struck out five, and St. Louis’ Jaime Garcia allowed three hits, walked four and struck out three.
NOTES: Padres radio broadcaster Jerry Coleman, 85, a former big league second baseman and manager, had a pacemaker implanted on Wednesday. He’s expected to return home Thursday and be back on Friday. Coleman played for the New York Yankees from 1949-57 and was on six World Series teams. He managed the Padres in 1980. … Padres RHP Tim Stauffer threw a bullpen session 15 days after having his appendix removed. Manager Bud Black said Stauffer will throw at least two more bullpens before coming off the disabled list. … Padres SS Everth Cabrera is listed as day to day with a right hamstring injury that’s in a different spot than the one that put him on the DL earlier this season. … Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse got a second opinion on his right forearm. He had an MRI Monday that revealed inflammation but no structural damage.