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MIL@SD: Black on losing to the Brewers

SAN DIEGO -- Jason Bartlett can't speak for his teammates, but he said there's nothing different about his approach to hitting at spacious PETCO Park as opposed to any other ballpark, such as the three hitter-friendly stadiums the Padres recently visited.

How those ballparks in Milwaukee, Colorado and Arizona play, however, is an entirely different issue.

"It's not our approach, but this field does play differently. There are no cheap hits here," the Padres' shortstop said. "No infield choppers off a hard infield. Here ... you have to earn your hits."

And your victories, which have been hard to come by. The Padres suffered a 5-2 loss Wednesday to the Brewers before a crowd of 16,901, which saw San Diego drop its 15th home game of the season, the most in the Major Leagues.

All ballpark woes aside, the Padres (18-25) had their hands full with Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (5-2), who allowed two runs over six innings. He also had a season-high nine strikeouts.

"I felt really good going into tonight," Gallardo said. "More than anything, I was aggressive. I think I threw a lot of fastballs in the first couple innings."

The two runs he allowed came on one swing, a two-run home run by Padres left fielder Ryan Ludwick in the fourth inning, a ball that reached the Western Metal Supply building in left field.

The home run was Ludwick's third in four games and extended his hitting streak to seven games. In that blissful stretch, Ludwick has 13 RBIs, with 11 coming on the prosperous eight-game road trip.

Against Ludwick, Gallardo tried to go up and in with a fastball, out of the strike zone. He caught too much of the plate, but it was not exactly a bad pitch.

"He put a pretty good swing on it," Gallardo said.

There just weren't enough of them, as the Padres had 10 hits in the game but were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

"We worked him. He has good stuff and has been an All-Star, but we had some good at-bats," said Padres manager Bud Black said. "We elevated his pitch count but just couldn't get that big knock against him."

San Diego pitcher Dustin Moseley allowed one run on four hits over the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth.

When Moseley (1-6) is going good, he's burying his pitches in the strike zone, like he did in a start earlier this season when he got 15 ground-ball outs. But as he did in recent starts against the D-backs and Rockies -- allowing a combined 11 earned runs in nine innings -- Moseley got in trouble when he started to elevate the ball.

"My command was there today. I was getting ahead in counts. Overall I made a lot of good pitches," said Moseley, who allowed two earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. "I don't want to kick myself too much on it. I just got in a little trouble in the sixth inning.

"The two balls that were hit [in the sixth] were up a little bit, but for the most part, those pitches were just missing down, just missing off the plate just a little bit."

Leading by a run entering the sixth, Moseley allowed a booming double to center field by Prince Fielder on a 2-0 changeup. After Casey McGehee walked, Mark Kotsay jumped on a fastball that didn't sink enough, driving it high to right field and off the wall for an RBI double.

Moseley then issued an intentional walk to Yuniesky Betancourt, the last batter he saw. Black went to his bullpen for Ernesto Frieri, who, with the bases loaded, hit Jonathan Lucroy with the first pitch he threw to force in the go-ahead run.

Moseley, who has won once in nine starts this season, has a 3.40 ERA and generally felt good about the way he pitched.

"Frustrated, but I'm managing. I'm a strong man," he said. "It's just a game, and you've just got to keep moving, keep working, stay with your routine, do your things and hopefully it turns around for you."

San Diego's bullpen, a unit that went into game with the best collective ERA (2.22) in the Major Leagues, took another hit one inning later as Luke Gregerson yielded four hits and two runs in the seventh inning for a 5-2 Milwaukee advantage.

"That was a tough one for Luke," Black said. "They jumped on him right away. But the bullpen has been outstanding."

Bartlett finished with two hits but was unable to drive in a run in a 10th consecutive game. The nine straight games with an RBI ties the club record, set by Sixto Lezcano in 1982 and Steve Finley in '96.

"To be honest, I didn't know about it until a couple of days ago," Bartlett said. "I feel good, so I'm going to stay positive and confident as long as I can."

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