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Astros Overpower the Padres : Four Home Runs, Three Off Show, Result in 5-3 Win

Times Staff Writer

Christy Mathewson, he wasn’t. He wasn’t even Eric Show.

In a rare occurrence, Show had a less-than-quality start Monday night, yielding three homers in a 5-3 Padre loss to the first-place Houston Astros in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

Give the Padres some credit, though. A 4-0 Astro lead dwindled to 4-3 by the sixth inning. But Tim Stoddard--who hasn’t pitched like Tim Stoddard since he came to town--gave up a Houston rocket (a ninth-inning homer by Craig Reynolds), and the Astros had an important insurance run.

Astro reliever Auerelio Lopez--Senor Smoke--pitched the last two innings to earn a save.

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So the Padres fall one more game behind, and are now 5 1/2 back.

“This series isn’t crucial, but it’s important,” a smiling Padre Manager Steve Boros said before the first pitch.

After the last pitch, there were no more smiles.

“We seem to be sitting on three runs each game,” Boros said. “That isn’t enough.”

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Catcher Terry Kennedy, who already was frowning when his alma mater--Florida State--lost to Arizona in the College World Series final Monday, frowned some more:

“We just need a bunch of hits,” he said. We’re relying on one inning. If we don’t do it then, we . . . we’re a .500 team. We play good, we play bad. Two good games, two bad games. That’s all we’ve got. A .500 record.”

Really, they’re two games under (27-29).

“We keep creeping up on last place,” he said. " . . . It’s depressing as (heck), especially for the players. But you can’t point at one person. It’s not one person’s fault.”

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Kennedy did point at himself, though. With the Padres trailing, 4-3, he came up with two men on with one out in the sixth and grounded into a double play.

The Padres gave up four homers in all to Houston, which had only 35 home runs as a team before Monday (only St. Louis has less).

All four were solo shots:

Kevin Bass off a Show changeup in the third.

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Bill Doran off a Show fastball in the fifth, and Glenn Davis off a low Show breaking ball in the same inning.

Reynolds hit a Stoddard fastball.

Show has the third most quality starts (six innings allowing three earned runs or less) in the National League since 1984. Only Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela have more. Known for giving up the long ball, he hadn’t yielded a homer since Jack Clark hit one on May 7.

Still, he hasn’t had a quality start since he was accepted a role in that Christy Mathewson film, 10 days ago.

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And why was Stoddard, with his 4.02 earned-run average, pitching in the ninth? Goose Gossage was still out with a groin injury, and Boros was saving Lance McCullers for a save situation.

Trailing 4-0, the Padres did make a game of it. Jerry Royster opened the fifth with a single to center. Kennedy walked, and Royster--who wasn’t paying attention and had to be pushed on his way by first base coach Sandy Alomar--moved to second.

Bip Roberts then doubled in two runs.

This is the same Bip Roberts who began the season 0-for-20, the same Bip Roberts who says he’s old enough to shave exactly once a month, the same Bip Roberts who has sat at his locker before games reading a book called “Courage.”

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“I got the book in chapel one Sunday,” he said. “A lot of verses from the Bible in it . . .”

He has shown some. After the 0-for-20 beginning, he called home often to his mom, who told him to keep the faith and the smile. Then, when he suddenly raised his average to a respectable .246, he injured a groin muscle. He went on the disabled list. He’d never been there before. Teammates told Roberts he’d been put on the 60-day disabled list, and he moped until he found out it was a joke.

He had to take a back seat to everyone. While Roberts was hurt, hitting coach Deacon Jones told him not to get in the way of others.

“You’re the shadow,” Jones told him. “Don’t forget it. You’ll do everything we do, but you’ll do it last.”

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Then, after he got well, he went 6 for 18.

Then came Monday’s double. It flew toward left center and rolled to the wall. The two RBIs matched his season total. He stood on second, hands on hips, but head and shoulders above what he used to be.

“When I was hurt, I watched the pitchers and their patterns, and watched the good hitters like Tony (Gwynn) and (Montreal’s) Tim Raines. I saw how they relaxed at the plate and were patient, and when they got a good pitch, then they hacked. Now, that’s what I’m doing.”

It was Carmelo Martinez’s bat that got the Padres even closer. Trailing, 4-2, in the sixth, Kevin McReynolds--1 for 16 before Monday--blooped a double to right. Steve Garvey grounded out, but Martinez ripped an RBI double to left off reliever Larry Anderson.

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Martinez, who had to sit and watch hot-hitting Marvell Wynne on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, made it to third on Graig Nettles’ pinch-hit bloop single, but Kennedy hit into that inning-ending double play.

Boros said Nettles could have tried for second if not for a pulled hamstring.

In the seventh, Roberts again came up with someone in scoring position, but he failed with one out. But Gwynn--the league’s leading hitter--also failed, grounding to pitcher Frank DiPino.

Padre Notes With left-hander Jim Deshaies pitching for Houston Monday night, left-hand hitting Marvell Wynne (6 for 14) was out of the starting lineup and right-hand hitting Carmelo Martinez in. Speculation is that they will be platooning, but Manager Steve Boros denied that. “I’ll look for ways to find spots for him (Wynne) in the lineup,” he said. “But, at this point, I’m not ready to platoon anybody with Carmelo. I’m not ruling it out, but I’m not prepared to do it now.”. . . Garry Templeton skipped batting practice Monday because the pain that started in his hamstring and moved to his back is now being felt in his hips. However, he still was able to play. “On Sunday, I saw it bothering him, but he said: ‘No, I can go,’ ” Boros said. “It’s something he’ll probably have to live with. I’ll be careful with him on (artificial) turf, and if there’s a spot to rest him, I will.” Boros said Templeton first injured his hamstring in April and had to change his running motion. That brought on a sciatic nerve problem.

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Goose Gossage, sidelined since last Thursday with a groin injury, threw in the bullpen before Monday’s game. Galen Cisco, the Padre pitching coach, said Gossage would “be able to go unless he tightens up.” . . . Former Yankee player, coach and manager Yogi Berra now is an Astro coach. This is time he hasn’t been affiliated with a New York team since his rookie season of 1946. Padre coach Sandy Alomar visited Berra before the game and said: “Houston’s got to be proud to have Yogi. He could’ve gone anywhere, but he went there. He must feel good. No pressure!”

Kurt Bevacqua, who was called out of the stands to pinch-hit in Sunday’s Padre Old-Timers’ game, said afterward: “It would’ve been a great publicity move if they’d signed me to a contract right then.” . . . Astro shortstop Dickie Thon has flown back to Houston to see his eye doctor. Thon, 0 for 17 with a .205 average overall, is suffering from a recurring vision problem that is the result of a 1984 beaning by Mike Torrez. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list. . . . Astro reliever Charlie Kerfeld (5-1, 1.88 earned-run average, two saves) strained a muscle in his right forearm on the weekend and isn’t likely to pitch against the Padres.


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