Wolf snarls, gets quartet of homers
Lefty allows just two runs on four hits; Greene homers twice
SAN DIEGO -- They didn't so much take the field with heavy hearts on Thursday as they did with heavy bats, as the Padres provided something infrequently seen at PETCO Park.
"A little bit of a power surge," Padres manager Bud Black said, smiling.
A day after losing pitcher Chris Young and Josh Bard to injuries and the disabled list, the Padres forged ahead, getting a blissful mishmash of big hits and big pitches during a 8-2 victory over the Reds before a crowd of 22,047.
The Padres (18-31) hit a season-high four home runs, including two off the bat of Khalil Greene, to break open a close game against the Reds (21-27), rolling to as lopsided of a victory as they've had since a 6-0 victory over Colorado on April 15.
"You hit four home runs in this ballpark, you know that you've made some mistakes," Reds manager Dusty Baker said after the game.
Randy Wolf, who pitched at home for the first time since April 25, allowed four hits and two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts, bouncing back aptly from allowing a two-run home run to Ken Griffey Jr. in the first inning, his 598th career shot.
Hitting and pitching, all in one game. That hasn't happened often for the Padres thus far. And given what happened Wednesday when Young suffered a nasal fracture after being hit in the face by an Albert Pujols' line drive and when Bard suffered a high left ankle sprain in the same inning, this win likely couldn't have come at a better time.
"Obviously, we feel strong emotions for CY and Bardo, for our fallen teammates, but the guys went about it how we always go about it. We saw the same focus tonight," Black said.
Just not the same results, as the Padres blitzed Reds starter Aaron Harang for five runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He was staked to a 2-0 lead after Griffey drilled a two-run homer in the first inning. But the Padres tied the score in the fifth inning on an RBI single off of the bat of Brian Giles.
That brought up Adrian Gonzalez, who struck out in his first two at-bats against the hard-throwing Harang. But Gonzalez jumped on a slider that probably hovered a little too long in the strike zone, hitting it off the foul pole in right field for a 3-2 lead.
"It just stayed up and didn't really do anything. I went back and looked at. It was almost letter-high," Harang said. "I thought it would hook foul but it just kind of straightened up at that last minute."
The rest was up to Wolf, who became the first Padres starting pitcher to go seven or more innings since Jake Peavy did so on April 27 against Arizona -- a stretch of 24 games.
"Everything came together after the home run to Griffey," Black said of Wolf. "... The breaking ball the first inning was a little spotty. Then he threw some good hooks to right-handers and good sliders to left-handers. ... A little of everything."
Wolf retired 20 of the final 23 hitters he faced, strikeout out the side in the fifth inning. Wolf also gave the pitchers at the back end of the bullpen -- Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Bryan Corey and Trevor Hoffman -- little reason to even stretch their legs, as reliever Mike Adams, who had his contract purchased earlier in the day from Portland, closed down the Reds with two scoreless innings.
Wolf was more in the mood to talk hitting than anything else following the game. That made perfect sense, considering that the Padres had scored three or fewer runs in his previous five starts.
Wolf was particularly encouraged by the production from the Nos. 5 and 6 hitters in the lineup, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Greene.
"They're a big part of our lineup," Wolf said. "When they get hot, I think they'll carry our offense. Kouz is starting to hit the ball hard."
Kouzmanoff hit his second home runs in three games, a 414-foot shot to center field that wasn't quite as far as his three-run home run two nights ago against St. Louis, though the Padres aren't about to split hairs over that one.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.