Unlucky 7th for the Astros

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IApril 4, 2008

Trevor Hoffman put the blown save behind him, and pitched a perfect ninth to lead the Padres (3-1) to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Houston Astros (1-3).

Hoffman only needed eight pitches to shut down the Astros. Ty Wigginton grounded out to shortstop on four pitches. Then Jose Cruz Jr. grounded out to first on just two pitches. J.R. Towles grounded out to third on two pitches.

Hoffman got his second save of the season but his blown save last night received a lot of media attention. Hoffman said he knows that comes with the position but would like to settle into the background.

"It's a long season," Hoffman said. "We don't want to continue the overanalyzing of each individual save that comes out. This is a team sport. Obviously it's a role that I have that can garner a lot of attention. I've had a little bit of an up and down thus far at the beginning of the season, but I'd much rather it just kind of go away and I get on a string and not talk to y'all for a while."

San Diego’s manager Bud Black said he has total confidence in Hoffman.

"What my eyes are telling me right now is that he is throwing the ball very well," Black said. "His delivery looks good, he's not laboring, the ball's coming out of his hand, the velocity's there, the changeup's there."

Both Houston’s Shawn Chacon and San Diego’s Randy Wolf made their first start with their respective teams and got no decisions. Chacon pitched six innings allowing five hits two runs, four walks and struck out four. Wolf pitched six innings allowing four hits, one run, and two walks and struck out five.

Enrique Gonzalez (1-0) got the win for the Padres despite allowing the Astros to tie the game at two in the seventh. Tadahito Iguchi drove in Scott Hairston for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Hairston tripled in the seventh with one out.

Oscar Villarreal (0-1) got the loss for the Astros in his debut with the team. Villarreal pitched two innings and allowed one run on three hits.

The Padres scored first when Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run homerun to center scoring Hairston to put San Diego in front 2-0. The Astros scored in the top of the third when Mark Loretta doubled to score Hunter Pence with two outs, then tied the game in the seventh with Towles doubling to left to score Cruz.

The Astros travel to Chicago to face the Cubs in a three-game series. Chris Sampson will make his first start of the season for the Astros against the Cubs’ Rich Hill Friday at 1:20 pm.