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Astros lose again at Petco Park, 6-3 to Padres

By Bernie Wilson

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, June 4 2011 10:20 p.m. MDT

San Diego Padres outfielder Eric Patterson makes the catch on a hit by the Houston Astros' Chris Johnson in the third inning during their baseball game on Saturday, June 4, 2011, in San Diego.

Gregory Bull, Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — The Houston Astros were on their hottest streak of the season when they came to Petco Park.

Then their run production dropped off in consecutive losses, including Saturday night's 6-3 setback to the San Diego Padres.

Aaron Harang pitched into the seventh inning and Brad Hawpe had a two-run double for the Padres, who won consecutive home games for the first time this season.

The Padres won for just the 11th time in 32 games at Petco Park. It was the third time the Padres scored at least six runs at home this season.

Ryan Ludwick scored three times and rookie Logan Forsythe put the Padres ahead with his first big league RBI.

Harang (6-2), who joined his hometown Padres in the offseason, matched his win total from each of the last three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, when he struggled due to back spasms. He held the Astros to two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The Astros, who lost 3-1 on Friday night, tried to make a game of it in the ninth.

Heath Bell came on with runners on first and second and no outs and finished for his 16th save in 17 chances. Michael Bourn hit a one-out RBI double, but Bell struck out Clint Barmes, who homered in the third, and got Hunter Pence to fly out to right field to end it.

"Their pitching is pretty good," Bourn said. "They don't rely on a whole lot of offense. They get runs here and there, but they rely on their pitching a lot. When you get to the seventh, it's nothing but a battle. They come in seven, eight and nine, and the guys who throw it the best are at the back end. They're pretty good."

Ernesto Frieri started the ninth by walking Angel Sanchez and allowing a single by J.R. Towles.

Harang hit Chris Johnson with a pitch leading off the second. Johnson eventually scored when Towles reached on an error by second baseman Angel Sanchez, pulling the Astros within one.

Barmes tied it at 2 when led off the third with his third homer.

The Padres regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Forsythe doubled to left to bring in Ludwick, who walked with two outs. The Padres piled on in the eighth with Alberto Gonzalez's RBI single and Rob Johnson's two-run base hit.

Chase Headley, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, and Ludwick hit consecutive singles with two outs in the first. Hawpe brought them both in when he doubled into the right-field corner.

Pence tied his career high by extending his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the first.

Houston's Aneury Rodriguez (0-3) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings.

"He worked out of some jams where they could have put up a hit and really extended the innings," manager Brad Mills said. "He kept us in striking distance."

NOTES: Sunday's series finale has been pushed back from a normal 1:05 p.m. start to 3:35 p.m. to accommodate the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. The course will go through the Park at the Park beyond center field at Petco Park. ... Harang has worked at least six innings in 10 of his 12 starts this season. Over his last four starts, he has allowed six runs in 27 2-3 innings (1.95 ERA).

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