Ludwick's 2-run homer lifts Padres over Braves

Ludwick's 2-run homer lifts Padres over Braves

April 26th, 2011 by Associated Press in Sports

San Diego Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett trips over the sliding Ryan Ludwick after catching a bloop fly hit by Philadelphia Phillies' Wilson Valdez in the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, April 22, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

San Diego Padres shortstop Jason Bartlett trips over...

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Petco Park was messing with both teams until Ryan Ludwick squared up just enough to drive a ball through the cool spring air and into the first row in left-center field.

Ludwick's second homer of the night, a 2-run shot with one out in the 13th inning, lifted the San Diego Padres to a 5-3 win against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

"In most parks that's 20 rows deep," said Ludwick, who was hitting just .184 coming in. "This park plays crazy at night. When I hit it, I didn't honestly know if it would get out. I'm just glad to win. Early this year we've had some tough losses, and hopefully this turns it around."

The Padres were coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies in which they scored just three runs.

"Hopefully it creates momentum but we have to come out tomorrow again and play as consistent a game as we did today," manager Bud Black said.

Ludwick's winning shot, his fourth of the year, came on an 0-1 pitch from Cristhian Martinez (0-2). Left fielder Martin Prado jumped for it, but it reached the seats. It was the fourth game-winning homer of Ludwick's career.

Nick Hundley, who tied the game with an RBI double in the seventh, was aboard on a one-out walk.

Cory Luebke (1-1) pitched two innings.

Chipper Jones hit his 500th career double leading off the 12th and was replaced by pinch-runner Brandon Hicks. Brian McCann hit a dribbler back to Luebke, who threw out Hicks trying to take third. Dan Uggla singled to put runners on first and second before Freddie Freeman and Alex Gonzalez struck out.

"We didn't have a lot of hits but we were efficient," Jones said. We still had some chances late, but they didn't go our way. We had some plays that went against us. But you have to give them credit."

Going into that inning, the Padres had retired 19 of 20 batters since Braves starter Derek Lowe hit an RBI single with two outs in the fifth.

Atlanta's Nate McLouth singled leading off the 13th. Once again the Padres erased the lead runner when Luebke fielded Martinez's bunt and forced McLouth at second. Right fielder Chris Denorfia made a spectacular, diving, rolling catch of Martin Prado's fly ball, then got up and doubled Martinez off first to end the inning.

"We had a couple of chances," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. It's hard to score runs from them."

Hundley hit an RBI double off former Padres reliever Scott Linebrink with two outs in the seventh to tie the game at 3. It brought in Cameron Maybin, who opened the inning by walking off Eric O'Flaherty.

Atlanta's Jason Heyward homered on Dustin Moseley's fifth pitch of the game, an opposite-field solo shot to left with one out in the first.

The Padres hadn't scored a run in Moseley's previous four starts while he was in the game. They finally snapped that streak when Will Venable's tying groundout brought in Orlando Hudson, who hit a leadoff single and advanced on Brad Hawpe's double to left.

Ludwick then gave the Padres a 2-1 lead when he homered to left with two outs in the third, his third.

Atlanta came back in the fifth for a 3-2 lead. Freeman doubled down the right-field line with one out and scored on Gonzalez's single up the middle. With two outs, Lowe singled up the middle to bring in Gonzalez.

Lowe allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out eight and walked three. In his last start, he went only three innings in a 6-1 loss at Los Angeles, allowing five earned runs on nine hits.

Moseley allowed three runs and four hits in six innings, struck out two and walked none. His ERA rose from 1.40 to 1.99.

NOTES: Sidearmer Cory Gearrin made his major league debut by pitching two perfect innings for the Braves. He was recalled Friday from Triple-A Gwinnett. ... The Padres recalled RH reliever Evan Scribner from Triple-A Tucson and optioned LH Wade LeBlanc to the same Tucson club. ... LeBlanc was recalled from Tucson on Sunday to start against Philadelphia. He took the loss.