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SD@MIL: Maybin clears bases, gives Padres the lead

MILWAUKEE -- When Padres manager Bud Black finally gets around to climbing out of bed on Thursday morning in Denver, he'll be faced with the luxury of having a blank agenda awaiting him for the scheduled off-day.

How would he ideally spend the day?

"We got some hits last night, and today with the big output, there's a part of me that wants to play tomorrow to keep it going," Black said, smiling.

Black was probably only half-joking, though it was probably about as good a way as any to try and explain what occurred on Wednesday at Miller Park, as the Padres scored eight runs in the eighth inning en route to a 13-6 victory over the Brewers.

Six outs from being swept by the Brewers, which would have been a daunting start to an eight-game road trip, the Padres -- a team that has been shut out eight times and one that came into the game with a .219 team batting average -- pulled off the implausible.

How implausible?

Consider the Padres (15-22) finished with 23 hits, the most they've had in a game since Aug. 12, 2003, against Greg Maddux and the Braves.

The Padres sent 13 batters to the plate in that eighth inning and had nine hits, with three players -- Brad Hawpe, Jason Bartlett and Chris Denorfia -- smacking two hits apiece, as the Brewers (16-21) couldn't stem the flow of runs and San Diego, seemingly, couldn't make an out.

The nine hits in one inning were the most for the Padres since they had 10 in an inning against the Rockies on Sept. 12, 2004.

"It was fun," said Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin, who tied a career high with four hits. "You know, the effort has been there, the passion to compete has been there. It's nice to have one like this. It's a good feeling."

No more so than for Maybin, who may well have had the most important hit during the inning, a two-run double down the left-field line off Brewers reliever Kameron Loe to give the Padres an 8-6 lead. A third run scored on a throwing error on the play to make it 9-6.

That particular at-bat was a day in the making, as it was Loe who struck out Maybin in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 8-6 Brewers victory on a sinker away, as the Padres left two runners on.

This time, Maybin got his revenge, as he turned on a 0-1 sinker that Loe elevated just enough, sending it hard down the third-base line.

"He's got a very good sinker, and all I was trying to do was to get him up in the strike zone," Maybin said.

The 23 hits, when combined with the 12 hits the Padres had in the final four innings of Tuesday's loss, had Black encouraged by what he saw.

"It really does get contagious," Black said. "It's a small sample size, but we have seen some good signs the last two days."

Ryan Ludwick -- who entered the game hitting .181 and was dropped to sixth in the order -- had three hits, all going to the opposite field, as the Brewers seemed intent on pitching him away so that he couldn't extend his arms in a ballpark where runs can often come in abundance -- and in a hurry.

It didn't matter, as Ludwick hit a two-run home run to right field in that eighth inning, his fifth home run of the season and his first since hitting two on April 25. His single in the first inning snapped an 0-for-21 skid.

"It's not about me; it's about the entire offense battling back and us not getting swept. As a whole in the three games, we pounded out some hits," Ludwick said.

And they didn't wait until the eighth inning to do it.

The Padres jumped on Brewers starter Randy Wolf for five runs in the first three innings, giving them some semblance of comfort, even at hitter-friendly Miller Park, as San Diego had its best starting pitcher, Tim Stauffer, on the mound.

"To give up 12 hits in three innings is awful," said Wolf. "It's hard to really put my finger on exactly what it was, but what it was awful. That's as plainly as I can put it."

But Stauffer started to elevate a few balls as the game wore on, allowing two runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth inning, as Prince Fielder tied the game at 5 with the 200th home run of his career.

Finally, the Brewers took a 6-5 lead when Stauffer allowed his second home run, a solo blast to Yuniesky Betancourt.

"The two home runs weren't good pitches," said Stauffer, who allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings.

When the eighth inning rolled around, the Brewers still had a 6-5 lead, with reliever Mitch Stetter in the game. Stetter started the inning by allowing a pinch-hit single to Hawpe. He was replaced by Loe, who allowed singles to Denorfia and Bartlett before Will Venable moved them along with a sacrifice bunt. Loe then walked Chase Headley intentionally to load the bases for Maybin.

"I felt like I was ready," Loe said. "I got the ball up. I might not have been as strong as I thought I was."

When the dust had settled on the inning, the Padres were left to ponder an inning where just about everything they did turned out right. Where they had hits in critical situations (Maybin's double), a home run (by Ludwick) and enough hits with runners in scoring position to make their heads spin.

"It feels good to have things go your way sometimes," Headley said. "I know everyone wants to play it up like we can't hit ... and I know eight runs in an inning isn't common, but we're having better at-bats.

"It's just funny how it works out sometimes." Comments