Kouzmanoff comes through for Padres

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Kouzmanoff liked Bronson Arroyo’s last pitch. He liked plate umpire Ed Rapuano’s call even more.

Kouzmanoff drew a game-winning walk from Arroyo in the ninth inning and the San Diego Padres got another strong outing from Jake Peavy in a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Kouzmanoff, hitting just .137 entering the game, went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs. Mike Cameron went 3-for-4 and scored two runs for the Padres, who won two of three in the series.

“How ’bout that Kooz? Big game for Kooz. I’m happy for him,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “I’ve seen better swings, better takes. The ball’s coming off his bat better. We’re seeing it in early work. We’re seeing it in BP. And we’re seeing it in general.”

Kouzmanoff took a high full-count changeup on Arroyo’s 129th pitch of the game to force in Khalil Greene with the winning run.

“He froze me,” Kouzmanoff said. “It was a good pitch, up around the letters.”

Arroyo (2-4) saw the pitch the same way. His dispute was with the call by Rapuano.

“I said, ‘You’re kidding me? The game is over?’ ” Arroyo said. “I thought it split the plate. It looked like it was right there.”

Peavy allowed nine hits and two runs in seven innings and has a 1.64 ERA. He struck out five after fanning at least 10 in a franchise-record four straight starts.

The Reds committed two costly errors that led to two San Diego runs.

Greene and Cameron singled in the ninth to put runners on first and second with no outs. Josh Bard then tapped back to Arroyo, whose throw to third was in the dirt. The error loaded the bases and brought up Kouzmanoff.

• Dodgers 5, Cardinals 4 — At Los Angeles, pinch hitter Wilson Betemit’s three-run homer with two outs in the fifth inning drove in the go-ahead runs as Los Angeles beat St. Louis.

The win was the fifth in six games for the Dodgers, putting them a season-high nine games over .500, and their second straight over St. Louis following a 10-game losing streak to the Cardinals.

Betemit, batting for winning pitcher Randy Wolf, hit a 1-0 pitch from Kip Wells (1-8) over the center-field fence to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead. It was Betemit’s fourth homer, the third as a pinch hitter.

• Mets 8, Cubs 1 — At New York, a three hour-plus rain delay couldn’t dampen Jorge Sosa’s stellar night.

Sosa pitched seven-plus innings of one-hit ball and David Wright had two RBIs as New York beat Chicago in a game that didn’t end until 12:53 a.m. EDT today — about 12 hours before the teams were scheduled to play again.

Sosa (3-0) allowed one run, walking three and striking out five. The right-hander allowed only a single up the middle by Cesar Izturis in the third.

• Phillies 6, Brewers 2 — At Philadelphia, Cole Hamels came up short in his bid for a perfect game, but Philadelphia completed its season-long climb to .500.

Hamels retired his first 18 batters and used one of baseball’s best changeups to strike out 11 in his 32nd career start, leading the Phillies over Milwaukee.

Hamels (6-1) didn’t allow a baserunner until he walked Rickie Weeks to open the seventh. J.J. Hardy followed with the Brewers’ first hit, his 13th homer of the year, to make it 6-2.

• Astros 2, Giants 1 — At Houston, rookie Hunter Pence homered for the second straight game as Houston beat San Francisco for its fourth straight win.

The win gives the Astros their first home series win over the Giants since 1999 and breaks a streak of five consecutive series losses to San Francisco.

Pence, who was called up on April 27, is 7-for-7 in this series.

• Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 3 — At Denver, Brad Hawpe homered twice and drove in four runs to lead Aaron Cook and Colorado past Arizona.

Both of Hawpe’s homers — his second and third of the season — came off Brandon Webb (3-3), last year’s Cy Young Award winner. The first home run was a solo shot that made it 2-0 in the fourth. He added a three-run homer in the sixth that broke a 2-2 tie.

Cook (3-1) allowed three earned runs and five hits in six-plus innings.

• Marlins 4, Pirates 3 — At Pittsburgh, Josh Willingham and Miguel Cabrera doubled in runs during Florida’s eighth-inning rally against Pittsburgh.

The Marlins trailed 3-2 entering the eighth, but Hanley Ramirez singled off Matt Capps (2-1) with one out. Cabrera and Willingham followed with doubles to make it 4-3.

The Pirates lost for the 12th time in 18 games.

• Nationals 6, Braves 4 — At Washington, Ryan Church hit a go-ahead three-run double and the Nationals’ bullpen provided five shutout innings as Washington beat Atlanta for its fifth win in six games.

Church’s liner to right-center off Kyle Davies (1-2) capped a four-run fifth in which the Nationals batted around. All of the runs were unearned, thanks to second baseman Kelly Johnson’s error.

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