McGehee lifts Brewers over first-place Padres 10-6
Casey McGehee homered and drove in four runs, and the Milwaukee Brewers piled up 15 hits against baseball's top pitching staff to snap San Diego's five-game winning streak, 10-6 on Friday night.
The Padres, owners of the best record in the National League at 73-48, had won 10 of 11. They lead the NL West by five games.
"Tonight was a rare night," manager Bud Black said. "It is rare that we pitch with the fastball like we did tonight. It doesn't happen."
Indeed, the hits were the most against the Padres since St. Louis tallied 15 in an 8-3 victory May 27. The Giants had 18 hits against San Diego in a 7-6, 12-inning win on May 18.
The 10 runs were the most scored against San Diego since the Padres lost 10-8 to Colorado on July 9.
Chris Capuano (2-2) did not allow a run in 3 2-3 hitless innings in relief of Yovani Gallardo to earn his second win since returning from his second Tommy John surgery in May. Gallardo gave up six earned runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Wade LeBlanc (7-11) took the loss, giving up seven earned runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings, a rare tough outing for a staff that had posted a 1.98 ERA during its last 11 games and a 3.18 mark for the season.
"It was command of everything tonight," LeBlanc said. "Everything was just off. It was just one of those games. These guys did a great job of scoring runs for me. I just didn't hold them down."
Milwaukee trailed 3-0 and 5-2 but took the lead for good in the fourth, as Alcides Escobar led off with a single and Jonathan Lucroy homered to make it 7-6.
McGehee evened the score at 5 in the third with a three-run homer to left that scored Ryan Braun, who had walked, and Prince Fielder, who had singled.
It was McGehee's 11th straight at-bat at Miller Park with a hit, and he continued his streaky season and his torrid pace.
After starting well — batting .325 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in his first 39 games — McGehee hit .245 with five homers and 17 RBIs in June and July combined.
He is batting .367 in August with six homers and 23 RBIs.
McGehee said it was particularly nice to have an outburst against the Padres.
"They've got an unbelievable bullpen. Their starting pitching is very good as well," McGehee said. "That was nice for us to be able to have that kind of offensive game, especially in support of Yovani, who has pitched so well for us."
San Diego scored three times in the first with two outs.
Adrian Gonzalez, a .450 career hitter at Miller Park entering play, homered to center to tie him with Dave Winfield for third on the club list with 154.
Ryan Ludwick followed with a walk and Chase Headley, 11 for 27 (.407) on the road trip, smacked a two-run homer into the picnic area in right field.
"We swung the bats early, jumped out there," Black said. "That was nice to see early against an All-Star pitcher."
It didn't last.
The Brewers got two runs back in the bottom of the first, as Corey Hart tripled high off the right-field wall and scored on Braun's single. McGehee drove home Braun with a double high off the center-field wall.
The Padres made it 5-2 in the second on a two-run double by Will Venable.
Gonzalez singled home Everth Cabrera in the fourth to make it 6-5.
Rickie Weeks added an RBI double in the fifth, and Joe Inglett had an RBI single in the seventh for Milwaukee.
"They had their hitting shoes on tonight, no doubt," Black said. "You look at that middle of the lineup — geez, even Weeks — that's formidable. It really is."
Brewers manager Ken Macha credited Capuano for keeping the Brewers in the game as they made their comeback. It was Capuano's first victory at Miller Park since May 7, 2007.
"I thought he threw the ball great. He's really progressing nicely," Macha said. "Capuano was terrific, just tremendous. How big was that? That won the game for us."
Capuano said although he's happy to be pitching at all, he'd eventually like to return to the starting rotation.
"That's how I see myself, and I feel that's what I'm good at," he said. "While I'd like to be starting, the main thing is that I'm feeling healthy and my arm is getting stronger and everything is feeling good."
NOTES: Hart left in the eighth with a tight right hamstring. ... Padres INF Jerry Hairston Jr. was a late scratch from the lineup due to illness. ... San Diego CF Tony Gwynn Jr. underwent right wrist surgery in La Jolla, Calif. Gwynn is expected to miss the rest of the season after breaking his hamate bone while swinging against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. ... Nate Colbert is the Padres' career home run leader with 163. Phil Nevin is second with 156. ... The Padres dropped to 22-6 against the NL Central this season. Milwaukee is 12-16 against the NL West.
Last updated: 2:40 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012