Kris Benson makes debut for Arizona

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- It took a career night from their catcher and a scoreless effort from the pitching staff for the San Diego Padres to win a series. Nick Hundley homered, had three hits and drove in three runs, and Kevin Correia pitched 5 2-3 str...

Kris Benson
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, and former Superior native, Kris Benson delivers during the first inning Saturday night in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) Summary

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- It took a career night from their catcher and a scoreless effort from the pitching staff for the San Diego Padres to win a series.

Nick Hundley homered, had three hits and drove in three runs, and Kevin Correia pitched 5 2-3 strong innings to help the Padres to a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

The Padres had lost each of their first four series, and four straight series to Arizona, before winning the last two nights.

"I thought we played a solid game," manager Bud Black said. "It was well-pitched, obviously, starting with Kevin and all the way through the end. We had some great defensive plays along the way. A good, clean all-around game."

Hundley tied a career high with three RBIs, including his first homer -- a solo shot in the fourth against Arizona starter Kris Benson (0-1). The right-hander, and former Superiorite, was recalled from Triple-A Reno before the game and made just his third big league start since 2006.


"It's always nice to get on the board," Hundley said of his homer. "It takes a little pressure off me. It was a hanging curveball. A ball up in the zone a little bit, and I was fortunate enough to square it up. I didn't know if it was high enough to get out, but fortunately it snuck out."

With the Padres leading 3-0 in the seventh, Hundley blooped a single to center with the bases loaded that scored two more and pushed the lead to 5-0.

"It was nice to sneak one of those in at the end, especially with guys on base," Hundley said. "I was fortunate it got in, but that's the game."

Correia (2-1), battling a sore throat and cold, held Arizona mostly in check as the Diamondbacks didn't advance past second against him. His eight strikeouts fell one short of his career high as he earned a second straight victory.

"It was a better start than it was last time against them, and we got our first series win, so I'm pretty happy," Correia said. "I felt pretty good with every pitch I was throwing today."

Petco Park has been kind to Correia when he starts the game, as he holds a 2.35 ERA in his past 10 starts at home.

"That's what we've seen from Kevin since last year and the early part of this year," Black said. "He is continuing to grow as a pitcher and gaining momentum and confidence in what he can do. It's great."

Four San Diego relievers combined to hold Arizona scoreless and preserve the Padres' first shutout. Arizona's offense was held scoreless for the first time, and has been shut out in its last 15 innings.


"I thought we were a little lethargic on offense, didn't pose a ton of threats" to Correia, manager A.J. Hinch said. "We did work him. He was tired at the end and missing up, but we didn't offer much early in the game."

A two-out walk in the sixth chased Correia, who lost to Arizona in his first start of the season. He allowed three hits and walked two.

Benson came to Arizona on a minor-league contract in March and has pitched in only eight games since the end of the 2006 season. He allowed several other hard-hit balls, but only Hundley's homer hurt Benson as he lasted six innings, giving up two runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out one.

"You can't beat it, being back in the big leagues," Benson said. "From the game standpoint, I didn't get the team off to the greatest start in the first two innings having the bases loaded, but was able to settle down after that."

The Padres got to Benson right away, as the first three hitters he faced reached base before Jerry Hairston scored on a double-play grounder by Chase Headley for a 1-0 lead.

San Diego loaded the bases with two outs in the second and fifth, but Benson got out of both jams.

Benson did appreciate successfully returning to the majors after suffering from a variety of elbow and shoulder injuries.

"Last year, I had to have surgery after the season, and I know I had to battle through the season to get through it," Benson said. "I don't feel like I'm 100 percent back yet, but I feel pretty good where I am right now."


Scott Hairston drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh from Jordan Norberto, who allowed three runs. Hairston had popped out with the bases loaded in the fifth to end a scoring threat.

NOTES: San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez received his Rawlings Gold Glove award on the field before the game. It was the second consecutive time Gonzalez has won it. ... Benson's call-up reunited him with Arizona manager A.J. Hinch. The two were teammates on the 1996 U.S. Olympic baseball team. ... The Padres struck out a season-high 13 batters. ... San Diego will recall LHP Wade LeBlanc from Triple-A Portland to start Sunday's game. RHP Adam Russell will be optioned to Portland to make room from LeBlanc.

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