San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Tony Gwynn singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift San Diego to a dramatic 3-2 win over Houston to finish off a four-game set.
Yorvit Torrealba led off the decisive frame with a single and moved to second base on an Aaron Cunningham sacrifice bunt before Everth Cabrera was given an intentional pass. Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs then walked to load the bases and Gwynn followed with a bouncing ball through the middle to deliver Torrealba to give the Padres their third straight win in the series in their final at-bat.
"It's tough to just wait for the home run, especially in this ballpark," said Gwynn about the way the Padres have to play offensively. "So we know we gotta execute the little things."
Heath Bell (4-0) worked a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the win after Houston had scored to tie the game in the eighth.
Brandon Lyon (5-3) suffered the loss after allowing the decisive run on two hits and three walks over 1 1/3 innings for Houston, which has dropped four out of six.
Mike Adams opened the eighth on the hill for San Diego and gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Keppinger that was followed by Lance Berkman's run-scoring triple that knotted the game at two. But the visitors offensive struggles continued, as Hunter Pence grounded out, Carlos Lee struck out and Jason Michaels flied out to leave Berkman stranded at third.
Houston got on the board first as Berkman hit a solo home run with two outs in the first to snap an 18-inning scoreless drought.
Cunningham's two-out, two-run single in the fourth gave San Diego the lead for the first time. Scott Hairston started the rally after Brett Myers had retired the first two hitters with a single and scored, along with Chase Headley, who had followed with a walk.
The Astros put runners at the corners with two outs in the seventh after a walk to pinch-hitter Jason Bourgeois that spelled the end for San Diego starter Wade LeBlanc. He was replaced by Ryan Webb, who induced pinch-hitter Chris Johnson to ground out to end the frame.
"This was a tough series but we should have won the game today, we gave them the game," said a frustrated Berkman. "It's tough to come in here with their pitching staff, we know they are going to be low scoring games and we didn't capitalize on a couple of scoring opportunities."
LeBlanc gave up a lone run on three hits and three walks while fanning a pair, while Myers went six innings during which he allowed two runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out two.
The hit was Gwynn's first career walk-off winner...San Diego won the season series, 5-2, for the first time since 2004...Houston outfielder Michael Bourn was selected as a first time All-Star...Berkman's homer was his first as a right-hand hitter this season...Myers became the first Astros pitcher since Roy Oswalt did it between August 2, 2008-April 27, 2009 to work six innings or more in 17 consecutive starts and the first to do it in the same season since Oswalt did it in 20 straight turns during the 2005 campaign.