Gwynn gives Padres vic­tory over Astros

Hit with bags full pushes san diego 16 games over .500

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Bernie Wil­son

SAN DIEGO — Tony Gwynn Jr. started grow­ing a beard at the be­gin­ning of June and doesn’t plan to shave it un­til he lifts his bat­ting av­er­age to .250.

He took a slight step back­ward Sun­day, but it was worth it.

Af­ter go­ing hit­less in his first four at-bats, Gwynn hit a bases-loaded sin­gle up the mid­dle against a drawn-in in­field with one out in the ninth in­ning, to give the San Diego Padres a 3-2 vic­tory against the Hous­ton Astros on Sun­day.

Gwynn’s av­er­age dipped from .228 to .227.

“I don’t know how much longer my face can take it, but I’m go­ing to roll with it as long as I can,” said Gwynn, the Padres’ lead­off bat­ter and cen­ter fielder.

Gwynn helps the Padres by do­ing the lit­tle things, un­like his Hall of Fame fa­ther, who had 3,141 hits and a .338 life­time av­er­age in a 20-year ca­reer for San Diego.

The NL West-lead­ing Padres (49-33) are 16 games above .500 for the first time this sea­son. This was their 11th win in their fi­nal at-bat at home.

Hous­ton had been shut out two games in a row. Lance Berk­man ended that with a home run in the first in­ning. He also tied the game with an RBI triple in the eighth.

“It’s tough to come in with their pitch­ing staff be­cause you know they’re go­ing to be low-scor­ing games,’’ Berk­man said. “Your de­fense is crit­i­cal, and we made some mis­takes. We gave them the game.”

The Astros messed up a cou­ple of rou­tine plays that al­lowed the Padres to build a slight lead.

Hous­ton’s starters al­lowed only three earned-runs in 252⁄ in­nings dur­ing the se­ries for a 1.05 ERA — yet they lost three of four games.

Brett My­ers went six in­nings for the Astros, al­low­ing two runs and four hits. He ex­tended to 17 his fran­chise record for con­sec­u­tive starts of six-plus in­nings to be­gin a sea­son.

De­nis Poroy

San Diego’s Tony Gwynn Jr. makes a div­ing catch of a ball hit by Hous­ton’s Brett My­ers on Sun­day. Gwynn later de­liv­ered the game-win­ning sin­gle in the ninth in­ning as the Padres won 3-2.

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