Gonzalez hits 25th homer, Headley hits his 10th in Padres' 7-3 win over Brewers
MILWAUKEE – The San Diego Padres are starting to think about the postseason.
With a six-game lead in the NL West and one of the NL's best hitters on the roster, it'd be hard for them not to.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his 25th homer, Chase Headley homered too, and the Padres beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 on Sunday.
"You can start to smell it," Headley said. "We've got a month and change left to go and we're in good position.
"I think everybody is worried about going out there and giving it there all each and every day," he said. "Every win kind of gets you one bit closer to where you want to be. I think that's the mentality that everybody has."
San Diego (74-49) can match last year's victory total of 75 wins when the Padres return home Tuesday night against Arizona. The San Francisco Giants lost Sunday to fall further behind in the division race.
The Padres lost the first two games of the series, but got a solid outing from starter Jon Garland (13-8) and improved to 14-1 in games following two straight losses.
"Good pitching and defense is going to win games," Gonzalez said. "If we continue to do that we're not going to go into a losing streak because pitching and defense prevails."
Garland's scoreless-innings streak ended at 21 innings when he gave up Ryan Braun's 18th home run in the fifth, but he won his third straight start and four of five.
Manny Parra (3-10) gave up seven runs in six innings on eight hits and four walks. He struck out five. The left-hander is 0-5 with a 7.42 ERA in his last eight starts and manager Ken Macha said he and general manager Doug Melvin have considered replacing the left-hander in the rotation.
"I had a brief discussion with Doug," Macha said. "Talked a little bit about perhaps who's coming up and maybe giving somebody else a call."
Gonzalez went deep in the first and Headley connected for his 10th homer in the second for a 2-0 lead, but San Diego blew the game open by taking advantage of Parra's wildness in the fifth and sixth innings. Three of the four batters the Brewers starter walked in those two innings ended up scoring.
"My fastball command was terrible all day," Parra said. "And that's what came back to bite me. I'm frustrated overall with the fastball command. It's consistently terrible. Today, it was absolutely terrible."
Milwaukee had plenty of chances against Garland (13-8), but left two runners stranded in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings. The right-hander pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
"Breaking ball early on with spotting the fastball kept them off-balance," Garland said. "I was able to make pitches when I needed to."
Four San Diego relievers pitched 3 2-3 innings of relief, allowing a two-out RBI single to Braun in the ninth.
Luis Durango, making his first start since being recalled from the minors Saturday, walked to open the fifth and stole second base. David Eckstein then walked, and Gonzalez walked with two outs to load the bases.
Ryan Ludwick followed with a double down the right-field line, scoring Durango and Eckstein for a 4-0 lead.
Braun's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning made it 4-2, but San Diego tacked on three more runs in the sixth — all with two outs.
Parra walked Durango and gave up a hit to Garland. Eckstein hit an RBI single for a 5-2 lead.
Miguel Tejeda followed with a double to the base of the left-field wall, scoring Garland and Eckstein to make it 7-2.
The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but reliever Luke Gregerson got Rickie Weeks to ground into a double play to end the threat.
"Luke coming in and getting that double play just took the air out of them," Garland said. "It was huge."
NOTES: Gonzalez has hit 17 of his 25 homers on the road. ... Brewers RF Corey Hart missed his second consecutive game with a strained hamstring. He is expected to return Tuesday night against the Dodgers. ... The Brewers' four-game winning streak was snapped. ... San Diego went 7-3 on its 10-game road trip, and returns home Tuesday night to play Arizona. ... Milwaukee INF Craig Counsell played in his 1,500th major league game Sunday. He has been in the majors since 1995.