06/26/08 2:20 AM ET
Interleague struggles haunt San Diego
Padres fall to Twins, drop ninth of last 11 games vs. AL
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Instead, the smattering of taunts likely had more to do with the entire body of work from the Twins' 9-3 victory over the Padres in front of a crowd of 22,324, especially after the way the home team has performed during Interleague Play.
The Padres wasted a 3-0 lead as their bats went into hibernation after the second inning, helping to continue their equally as cold run in Interleague Play as they lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games against American League teams.
Not that the Padres (32-47) saw it that way.
"It's just another team. We don't think there is a difference with the American League," second baseman Edgar Gonzalez said. "We haven't seen their pitchers, but they haven't seen our pitchers, either. It's not that big of deal. We're all at the same stage."
Not when it comes to results, as the Padres have guaranteed themselves of losing their fourth consecutive Interleague series this season. They already have dropped series to the Mariners, Indians, Yankees and Tigers.
Greg Maddux came into the game with eight straight starts without a victory, though that was more a function of the Padres' inability to score enough runs for him than struggling with his command or simply getting knocked around.
That wasn't so much the case on Wednesday, as Maddux allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on seven hits over his 5 2/3 innings. One of those hits was a two-run home run to Twins No. 7 hitter Brendan Harris, who hit one of two homers in the ninth inning on Tuesday off Trevor Hoffman. Maddux had allowed eight runs over his last six starts.
"He got me ... that was good hitting," Maddux said of the pitch Harris went down and hit over the wall in left field. "It wasn't like I made a mistake. He went down and got it. ... I don't know if he guessed right, but he got me."
Maddux hadn't allowed more than five runs in a start this season since April 18, the day after the Padres played 22 innings against the Rockies and needed innings from the 41-year-old. He retired the first seven hitters he faced, but he allowed a run-scoring single to Alexi Casilla with two outs in the third inning and then a two-run double to Joe Mauer.
"I couldn't locate my fastball tonight. I was wild up," Maddux said. "Some other pitchers can do that, but I can't."
Those two hits erased the 3-0 lead the Padres posted off Twins starter Glen Perkins, who allowed two runs with two outs in the first inning. Adrian Gonzalez knocked in a run with a fielder's choice grounder, as a sliding Brian Giles took out Casilla on a clean play at second base, giving Gonzalez time to beat the return throw.
With the inning still alive, Kevin Kouzmanoff followed with a towering RBI triple to the base of the wall in center field, giving Gonzalez plenty of time to score. The Padres added a run in the second inning on a Scott Hairston RBI double down the left-field line.
"We had some good swings and drove his [Perkins] pitch count up," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But we couldn't generate much after the first couple of innings."
The Padres managed just two singles after the third inning, and those came well after the Twins (42-36) had increased their lead on a two-run single by leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez in the sixth inning and a two-run home run by pinch-hitter Craig Monroe in the eighth.
After scoring three runs on six hits over the first three innings, San Diego just had a single by Hairston in the seventh and another single by Jody Gerut with two outs in the ninth.
"We play well at home, but it's not going so well. We're a much better team than we're showing," Padres catcher Michael Barrett said. "We can't keep saying that we're playing good teams. Yes, they're a good team, but we're a better team than we're playing."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.