Houston Astros fall to San Diego Padres

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IApril 2, 2008


The Houston Astros did not have to face Jake Peavy in their second game, but it did not change the result. The San Diego Padres topped the Astros 2-1 Tuesday night at Petco Park.

The Padres got all the runs they needed in the fourth inning, when Scott Hairston hit a two-run homerun to left field to give San Diego a 2-0 advantage.

Astros starting pitcher Brandon Backe said he left the pitch in the middle. “It wasn't high, it wasn't low, it was screaming, 'Hit me!'" Backe said.

Houston’s manager Cecil Cooper did not see Backe’s pitch as bad as his starter thought.

"I thought Brandon pitched well," Cooper said. "Even the pitch for the home run wasn't a bad pitch. The ball was down and the guy put a good swing on it."

Backe pitched five innings and gave up two runs and five hits.  He walked three and struck out three.

The Astros only run came in the sixth inning when Miguel Tejada scored on a bases loaded walk to Michael Bourn.

Padres’ closer Trevor Hoffman came into the game in the ninth inning to a standing ovation. He struck out Darin Erstad to start the inning. Bourn flied out to left. Hunter Pence kept the Astros’ ninth alive when he got an infield single.

Hoffman ended the Astros rally by striking out Lance Berkman to earn his first save of the season and 525th in his career. Hoffman’s save came after he blew his last save in the wild-card tiebreaker game against the Colorado Rockies last October.

Hoffman said he was glad to get the save but was not making this opportunity greater than others were.

"The start of the '08 season was very important. Tight ballgame. The team played well tonight. Those are the ones that you want to try and preserve," Hoffman said.

Chris Young was the winning pitcher for San Diego and pitched five-and-two thirds innings giving up one run, four hits, walking five and only striking out three. Young said the Padres do not doubt Hoffman’s ability to save games in the ninth.

"If we're overly happy for Trevor, I don't think that's the case. I think we all expect Trevor to go out there and be successful," Young said.

Despite opening the season with two losses, Cooper is not worried.

"I don't have any doubt about it. You're not going to see this team struggle a lot," Cooper said.

The Astros face the Padres again Wednesday at 9:05 PM CST. Wandy Rodriguez will start for the Astros against the Padres' Greg Maddux.