Saturday, May 05, 2001

Padres find HR stroke

Associated Press Writer

        The San Diego Padres had hit the fewest home runs in the National League until rolling into Cincinnati.

        In a rare display of team power, Ryan Klesko homered twice and Bubba Trammell and Wiki Gonzalez added two-run shots Friday night as San Diego beat the Reds 11-5.

        “I like what they did with the stadium, especially the grass, but I don't think the ball carries any different,” Klesko said. “The ball always did carry well here.”

        The Reds put down natural grass in 31-year-old Cinergy Field for the first time this season and tore down the left and centerfield stands to make room for construction of a new ballpark next door.

        It made the Padres feel right at home.

        “We're not a power-hitting baseball team and we know that,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “But we're going to hit some home runs, and tonight we did.”

        Klesko and Trammell hit two-run homers in the first inning to give Adam Eaton a 4-0 lead.

        “To take the mound with the lead ... that's what you want to do,” Eaton said. “When you start with that many runs, you're supposed to win.”

        Eaton (4-2) gave up a first-inning home run to Alex Ochoa, his first, but then didn't allow another run until the fourth.

        “The way our starting pitching is going, all we have to do is score some runs for them,” Klesko said.

        Since ending a three game losing streak, the Padres are 6-2 and have outscored opponents 54-24 in those eight games.

        Wiki Gonzalez added a two-run shot in the eighth, and Klesko connected again in the ninth to give the Padres their first four-homer game of the season.

        Eaton pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and added an RBI double in the sixth. He allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out five in six innings.

        “We scored early, and that helped out,” Bochy said. “And Eaton in the fifth, that was huge. Our pitching came through when we needed it.”

        Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn, on the DL with a right hamstring strain, is eligible to be activated Sunday for the final game of the series.


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- Padres find HR stroke
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