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HOU@SD: Denorfia goes deep to center in the fifth

SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bud Black would have liked a better view of Chris Denorfia's cannon of a shot over the center-field wall in the Padres' 3-1 victory on Friday against the Astros.

As he put it, TV didn't give that one justice.

"That was a bullet, from the TV," said Black, who had to watch the remainder of the game from the clubhouse after being ejected in the fourth inning. "It would have been more of a bullet from the dugout. I wish I would have seen that from the dugout."

Black was ejected by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson in the fourth for arguing a pitch from starter Dustin Moseley (2-6). The offering was ruled a foul tip, but the skipper thought it was a missed strike three to Houston starting pitcher J.A. Happ (3-7).

Black appeared "hotter" than his typical disputes with umpires. The ejection was his second this season and 13th in his managerial career.

It was just another ejection to Black, but the San Diego (25-33) players fueled off of his energy and scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to grab the lead on the Astros (23-35).

"You could just feel a different energy tonight," Denorfia said. "The fans were awesome, and we responded. After Buddy got tossed, we made some great plays. We started squaring the ball up. It was kind of nice to feed off everybody, players, coaches, fans. It was a good night."

In the bottom of the fourth, shortly after Black was thrown out, shortstop Jason Bartlett led off with a single, which Chase Headley and Ryan Ludwick mimicked in the next two at-bats. Ludwick's hit, a line drive to center field, scored Bartlett from second base.

On the same play, Headley stretched for third base but was thrown out. Two batters later, Aaron Cunningham hit an RBI double to left field that scored Ludwick.

Despite going the first three innings without a hit, Bartlett, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run, said the Padres' pace in the batter's box was set from the get-go.

"[Denorfia's] first at-bat kind of set the table. He worked the count and got a walk," Bartlett said. "I kind of fed off of that. We made them throw a lot of pitches today, and I think Dino working that first at-bat set the tone for everybody."

Not to be lost in the ejection and win was Moseley's effort.

The right hander pitched seven innings and allowed one run on six hits to pick up his first win since May 1. Moseley has been the Padres' most reliable starter on the year -- he's now allowed three or fewer runs in 10 of his 12 starts.

"Good command of the fastball," Black said. "Good curve. Usually you see probably the majority of his pitches fastball-slider. I think today it was great use of the curveball to go along with his fastball."

With the help of the run support he rarely gets, Moseley was rewarded with his second victory of the season.

Moseley has the fifth-lowest run support in the Major Leagues. If he had at least three runs scored behind him in each of his starts, he would have three more wins.

But on Friday that wasn't an issue, and the only run Moseley surrendered was on a squeeze bunt by J.R. Towles to score Chris Johnson from third base. Moseley said he didn't see the squeeze until he was about to make the throw to first.

"It was a great squeeze," he said. "Good bunt, and luckily we put up three to beat that."

Moseley's second win didn't come easily. In each of the first three innings, the Astros advanced a runner to third base before Moseley and the defense secured the final out of the inning.

In total, the Astros left seven batters on base. And beyond that, Moseley had to field a number of comeback balls.

"A couple early on just about killed me," Moseley said."They were rockets."

And any balls that got past Moseley, which were few since he batted most of the balls down he couldn't field, the defense tended to handle well.

"Defense played outstanding behind me tonight," Moseley said. "[Catcher] Rob Johnson did a great job. We were locked in the whole game. I think I only shook twice the whole game. You feel pretty comfortable when you're doing that."

The Astros players certainly noticed the groove that Moseley and his catcher had worked themselves into.

"He was throwing strikes, he was locating his fastball to both sides of the plate," said Johnson, who hit two triples in game. "He kind of got in a rhythm, and it was kind of tough to get some runs on him."

Once Moseley left, Mike Adams pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two batters, and Heath Bell followed with his 15th save of the season and two strikeouts of his own. Comments