MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 09: Yonder Alonso #23 of the San Diego Padres slides safety at home as Martin Maldindio #12 of the MIlwaukee Brewers looks on at Miller Park on June 9, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Padres defeated the Brewers 5-2. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
The Padres don't have a lot of big boppers in the lineup. Even after Carlos Quentin showed up and hit 5 home runs in 9 games, San Diego has hit the fewest home runs in baseball.
If they're going to score enough runs to win games, they have to do it by getting a lot of little hits instead of hoping for one big hit.
Finally, on Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee, the Padres put it together.
The Friars had 13 hits, 11 singles and 2 doubles, in a 5-2 win over the Brewers. They got one of their runs from a Will Venable double in the 5th (Venable was playing for the first time since injuring his oblique muscle a week ago), but the game-winner came an inning later.
Chase Headley, Yonder Alonso, and Cameron Maybin singled in succession to load the bases. For most of the season the Padres would find a way to get out of the inning without a run scoring, either through a double-play ball or a strikeout-flyout combination.
But this time, that fourth hit came off the bat of John Baker. The backup catcher singled cleanly up the middle, driving in Headley and Alonso to give the Padres a 4-2 lead.
The Padres pitching staff had to make it stand up in an interesting way.
8th inning specialist Andrew Cashner was the starter. He's beginning his move from the bullpen to the 5-man rotation, so he was working with a pitch limit.
Cashner threw 47 pitches, giving up 1 run and striking out 5 in 2 1/3 innings. He's being optioned to Double-A San Antonio to get a few starts and build up his arm strength. Cashner is a starter by trade. He started for 3 years at TCU, and made his Major League debut with the Cubs last year as a member of the rotation.
Cashner injured his shoulder in that game, returned in September and has been a reliever ever since, but it likely won't take him long to get back to the point where he can go 6 or 7 innings again.
As always, manager Bud Black had a plan. Ross Ohlendorf, who just signed on June 4, came on in relief of Cashner. Ohlendorf has spent most of his career as a starter with the Pirates, so his arm was plenty ready to eat a few innings.
Ohlendorf went 4 1/3, allowing 1 run and striking out 4 to get his first win as a Padre. Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, Dale Thayer and closer Huston Street (who recently came off the disabled list) combined to hold the Brewers scoreless the rest of the way.
On Sunday the Padres have a chance to win a series on the road for the first time in 2012. In 8 previous attempts, San Diego is 0-7-1.